High School Baseball

Vikings ‘double’ up Ola with defensive effort

Football isn’t the only sport where defense can win — or lose — big games.

Despite managing just five hits, Northgate’s baseball lineup kept pace in the Region 4-AAAAA playoff race in a must-win situation on Thursday, turning three double-plays in a 5-1 victory at home over Ola.

A scoreless game carried into the fourth before the Vikings broke through with two runs in a victory where the team also took advantage of five Mustang errors.

The win capped off a sweep of the 4-AAAAA foe during the regular season while also keeping Northgate a half-game ahead in third place behind Starr’s Mill and Whitewater during a week that began with losses to both region frontrunners on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.

The team now heads into spring break at 10-4 in 4-AAAAA and 11-9 overall. The Vikings will return a week from Monday with another key week of region games that starts with a trip to Union Grove (10-8, 9-4).

Despite being tied with Northgate in the loss column, the Wolverines dropped their first of two games against the Vikings in a 4-3 loss on March 20 in Newnan.

Connor Wilson kept Northgate in Thursday’s game, pitching four scoreless innings and getting some defensive help along the way.

After retiring four straight batters, infielders Buddy Green and Blake Helton turned the first of three double-plays between the duo while erasing Ola’s Andrew Sarsany following a one-out single.

The Mustangs, who managed four hits off Wilson, nearly broke through again in the fourth, putting runners on first and second following a leadoff single by Kaleb Hood and a walk to Joc Case. It also ended on a Northgate double-play, this one started by Helton, allowing the Vikings a chance to break through in the bottom of the inning for a 2-0 lead.

Northgate began a two-run rally with Chase Allen’s leadoff double and it carried on with help from a Mustang error that plated the opening run of the game. Jonathan Hamilton followed with a grounder that scored Wilson, who had been hit by a pitch.

Ola’s No. 9 hitter Brandon Perkins cut the team’s deficit in half with an RBI single in the top of the fourth for Wilson’s only run allowed.

But the Northgate pitcher got it back by squeezing a run home with a bunt in the fifth to push the Vikings ahead 3-1 after loading the bases on a walk, a single and another Ola error. The Mustangs were able to get out of the jam without further damage by cutting down a runner at the plate.

Northgate pushed further ahead with two runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Andrew Burden and Allen, who finished 2-for-3.

Burden reached base on all four of his at-bats.


Vikings 5, Mustangs 1

Ola 000 010 0 — 1 5 5

Northgate 000 212 x — 5 5 0










More Sports

Former Lady Viking standouts have Shorter on verge of national relay title

Northgate High graduates and current Shorter University track and field standouts Ashley Ballard and Kemor Anderson are on the verge of brin ... Read More


Herrington tabbed to take over Northgate baseball program

Northgate athletic director Dr. Eric Fiske knew he might have some sleepless nights before finally deciding on the right candidate to take o ... Read More


Local Racing

Armisteads double up on wins at Senoia

The father and son racing team of Joe Armistead, Jr. and Joey Armistead doubled on victories on Saturday as the second and third generation ... Read More


Despite Brewers struggles, Smith still ‘getting jiggy with it’ on mound

When it came to talking about the 2014 Major League Baseball season last November, it was hard to blame Will Smith for not exactly being in ... Read More


High School Golf

Newnan, Northgate teams close out year at GHSA Championships

Newnan and Northgate varsity golf teams came up short of trophies in respective GHSA state tournaments on Monday, but that didn't stop their ... Read More

Area Golf Digest

Reynolds competes for spot in U.S. Open Qualfier

Jean Reynolds continues to pursue a return trip to the U.S. Women's Open, coming within just a hair of achieving the feat on Tuesday. The cu ... Read More