LIBERTY CENTER – That ever elusive complete game victory for Brian Nagy’s Evergreen Vikings finally arrived.
Bryce Hudik went the distance, working out of early inning trouble with minimal damage, and the Vikings scored seven runs in the sixth to blow open a close game to tame the Tigers 10-2.
The victory was the third for the Vikes in the NWOAL.
“He battled through a tough situation in the first, then kind of settled into the game,” said Nagy. “Then in the late innings he was pretty much in control and they didn’t have too many good swings against him.”
That rough spot in the first was created by a leadoff walk to pitching counterpart Joe Everson, a one-out double off the short porch in center by Jarrett Krugh that scored one run, an infield error, another walk and Austin Like’s sacrifice fly that gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
However, that would be it for the day for LC as Hudik allowed just two hits the rest of the game and got out of a jam in the fifth when back-to-back walks and a double steal put Tigers on second and third with one down.
Hudik got the next two LC hitters to bounce to the mound to end the threat.
Evergreen got one run back in the third when Zack Lumbrezer walked, Mason Henricks doubled to right center, and Teagen Pinkelman used the safety squeeze to chop the 2-0 Tiger lead in half.
The Vikes took the lead for good in the top of the fifth.
Again it was the diminutive Lumbrezer with the spark with a base hit to open the inning.
After a walk, Pinkelman’s bunt down the third base line went for a hit to load the bases before Jack Krispin’s force play grounder tied the game and John Ruth’s suicide squeeze put Evergreen ahead.
“We did a good job playing small ball to get a lead,” explained Nagy. “Then in the sixth we bought in that we had to hit the ball the other way and go with what (Everson) was giving us.”
Josh Dowling’s shot up the middle started the sixth and Phoenix VanOstrand followed with a base hit to left center.
A force play kept runners on first and second with one down, but Lumbrezer again singled for his second hit of the day to load the bases.
One run scored when a pickoff attempt at third went wide, another came home on a fielding error before a bases loaded walk, a two-run single from Ruth and Sam Lubinski’s two-run double down the right field line against reliever Gabe Hinton capped the seven run outburst.
Hudik gave up one earned run in his seven innings. He walked six and struck out five.
Everson took the loss for LC.
After working four solid innings, the senior righty gave up seven runs on nine hits, walking four and striking out seven.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org