Prep Baseball

Northgate powers its way to region victory over Union Grove

by Doug Gorman

alt

Jeffrey Leo

Northgate first baseman Carter Sheheane looks a pickoff throw into his glove as a Union Grove runner scampers back to the bag during Wednesday’s Region 4-AAAAA game.

If the Northgate Vikings baseball team hopes to stick around for the postseason, every Region 4-AAAAA contest becomes vital.

The team inched a step closer to the state playoffs on Wednesday at home with a 12-3 victory over Union Grove in what head coach Greg Hamilton called a must-win situation.

The win helps the Vikings stay alive for one of the four Region 4-AAAAA playoff spots. Heading into Wednesday’s games, Whitewater, McIntosh, and Starr’s Mill each have three losses in Region 4-AAAAAA action.

Northgate improved its record 10-4 in region play and 13-4 overall.

“We had to win today,” Northgate said Hamilton. “We are all really bunched together. “

It also sets up a crucial game on Saturday when Northgate travels to Ola. The Mustangs (8-4) also have four losses in region play.

The Vikings pounded out 12 hits en route to the win over the Wolverines.

Three Northgate pitchers went to the mound en route to the victory. Robert Massenburg pitched into the fifth inning and picked up the win with a seven-strikeout effort.

The Vikings also picked up two solid innings of work from Matt Farmakis. After entering with a Union Grove runner on first in the fifth, he didn’t allow a Wolverine batter to reach in his two innings of relief. Farmakis got one batter to strikeout in the fifth and then needed just four pitches to retire the Union Grove side in the sixth.

Sophomore Chad Green threw the last inning, striking out one batter and allowing a hit before closing out the game.

Northgate secured the victory when James Poropatic made a diving catch in center field to end the contest.

The Vikings put the exclamation point on Wednesday’s victory with a power display in the bottom of the sixth.

Already leading 8-3, Tyler Dahlberg and Jordan Schmits each hit a two-run homer in the inning to give the Vikings some insurance.

“We had some big hits tonight, and that really helped,” Hamilton said. “That’s all you can ask for.”

The Vikings display of power came right after three Union Grove assistant coaches were thrown out of the game.

Northgate took early control of the contest after Massenburg helped retire the side in order in the top of the first with two strikeouts.

The Vikings then scored three times in the bottom of the first. Armond Upshaw drove in a run with a base hit and Schmits picked up two RBIs with a single later in the inning.

Union Grove tied the game with a single run in the second and two more in the third.

Northgate grabbed the momentum right back in the bottom of the third inning when Jeffery Ginn delivered the game-winner. Ginn stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, and nearly hit the ball out of the park for grand slam. His double off the center field fence accounted for three runs.

“That was huge,” Hamilton said. “It totally changed the momentum of the game.”

Northgate added two more runs in the fifth inning after Dahlberg singled and Allen doubled. Both runners scored when Carter Sheheane single them home.

Offensively, Dahlberg finished with three hits and scored four runs. Allen added two hits and scored four times. Poropatic and Schmits also scored twice.

Casey Selfe was the offensive leader for Union Grove with two hits and a run scored.

Northgate now gears up for its showdown with Ola.

“It is going to be a very crucial game,” Hamilton said. “We have to be ready to play.”

The Vikings could enter the contest short-handed with at least two players expected to miss the game because of college boards.

Northgate also suffered a setback recently when it lost senior catch Spencer Perry to a broken bone in his foot. The senior catcher is expected to be out three to four weeks.

“Hopefully, we make the playoffs, and we are able to get him back,” Hamilton said.



More Sports

High School Baseball

Indians jump out in front to open series with Cougars

Even before East Coweta head coach Franklin DeLoach could say a word of his postgame address following Wednesday's 8-1 win over Newnan at ho ... Read More


High School Tennis

Third time the charm as ECHS boys win region

The third time was the charm for East Coweta boys tennis team against rival Newnan. And it came at just the right moment as well while claim ... Read More


High School Tennis

Vikings clinch third straight trip to tournament

In one of the strongest tennis regions in Class AAAAA, Northgate's boys managed to keep its string of state playoff appearances alive on Wed ... Read More


High School Soccer

Northgate sweeps Mt. Zion-Jonesboro

Northgate soccer teams dominated Mt. Zion-Jonesboro Wednesday on Senior Night to close the Region 4-AAAAA schedule with a pair of shutouts. ... Read More


High School Track & Field

Lady Lions win Region 1-AAA title

ALPHARETTA- The Trinity Christian girls track and field team claimed the GISA Region 1-AAA track and field title on Wednesday in a meet held ... Read More

High School Baseball

Rain forces area schools into busy week of makeups

It's going to be a busy week for all three local GHSA high schools, and they can blame the recent rainy weather for causing quite the log ja ... Read More