Evergreen battled TAAC title contender Cardinal Stritch inning by inning but the Cardinals made the most of a sixth inning opportunity to overcome a 3-2 deficit and defeat the Vikings 5-3 Monday at Evergreen.
The Cardinals struck first with a pair of runs off Viking starter Bryce Hudik in the second.
David Johnson and Ryan Flowers singled to open the inning to put runners on first and second.
A sacrifice and a passed ball scored the first run, then Mike Dunsmore’s roller through a drawn in infield marked the second Stritch tally.
Hudik averted trouble in the third after an error, a walk and a stolen base put Cardinals on second and third with two down, when he blew away Johnson on strikes to end the threat.
After going nine-up and nine-down against Cardinal starter Mike Staler the first three innings, Evergreen rallied using some small ball in the fourth.
Teagen Pinkelman and Mason Henricks each reached on an error to put Vikings on first and third.
Staler fielded Sam Lubinski’s squeeze bunt but made an improper decision trying too late to get an out at home, leaving Vikings still at first and third and scoring Evergreen’s first run.
Lubinski took second on the catcher’s indifference and Bryce Eisel made Stritch pay when he bounced a base hit through a tight Cardinal infield to score both Henricks and Lubinski, giving the Vikings a 3-2 lead.
Stritch tied the game against Eisel, working his second inning of relief in the fifth, on a double by Jeff Latz, a stolen base and John Payets’ suicide squeeze.
Flowers’ double against Eisel leading off the sixth, a walk, and a one-out single by Dave Magowicz put Stritch up 4-3 and ended the day for the sophomore righty.
Left-hander Dave Moore came in and was greeted by Staler’s ringing single that plated an insurance run.
Staler worked the first five to pick up the win, giving up just three hits and striking out eight.
Hudik allowed one earned run in his three innings of work giving up four hits, walking one hitter and striking out two. Eisel took the loss as he gave up five hits, three earned runs and walked two.
Evergreen is now off until Saturday when the Vikings travel to Montpelier to play a pair with the Locos.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com