GHSA Baseball Playoffs
Northgate splits with Hardaway
by Staff Reports
COLUMBUS — The Northgate Vikings and the Hardaway Hawks will meet in a one-game showdown to decide who moves to the second round of the Class AAAAA baseball tournament.
The two teams split their doubleheader on Thursday in Columbus, with the Hawks taking game one 1-0, and the Vikings forcing the the third game with a 5-4 decision in the nightcap.
Northgate and Hardaway will play the third -and-deciding game at 2 p.m. today to determine who moves on to the second round.
Friday’s game was originally scheduled to start at 4:30, but moved in order to avoid the threat of rainy weather.
The Vikings earned a spot in the playoffs as the No. 4-seed out of Region 4-AAAAA, while Hardaway earned the right to host the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs after winning the Region 1-AAAAA title.
Northgate pitcher Robert Massenburg picked up the win in game two going the distance and allowing just six hits. Massenburg struck out two batters and walked just one en route to the win.
He also made one of the best defensive plays of the game, snagging a line drive hit up the middle for the final out in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
Needing a victory in the second game of the doubleheader to extend the season, Northgate used an 11-hit performance en route the win.
Batting from the second spot in the lineup, Armond Upshaw finished with three hits and an RBI. James Poropatic also had two hits and RBI.
Jordan Schmits finished the second game with two RBIs. Chase Allen also drove in a run. Buddy Green scored twice for the Vikings, crossing the plate in the second and the fifth.
The Vikings built a 5-2 lead in the second game, scoring one run in the first five innings, before allowing the Hawks their chance to rally with runs in the fifth and sixth.
Porotatic had Northgate’s only hit in the opener, where Matt Farmakis took a tough-luck loss despite allowing just five hits and striking out a batter.
Starting Hardaway pitcher Cedric Brown got the win in game one to move his season record to 10-0.