The Huntington North High School baseball team broke open a scoreless game with three runs in the fourth inning and then seven runs in the fifth inning to crush Fort Wayne South Side on Tuesday, May 28, in first action action at the Huntington North Baseball Sectional.
The Vikings, 18-9, will face Tuesday night's second game winner, Homestead, in the championship contest tonight, Wednesday, at 5 p.m. Homestead, 14-10, stopped Fort Wayne Wayne, 11-2.
Quinton Smith threw three-hit ball for five innings, with eight strikeouts and three walks, to get the shutout win. He and South Side's Garrison Bryan were locked in a pitcher's duel until the Viking bats awoke in the fourth.
The Vikings got their fourth inning started not with a hit, but with a hit by pitch as Bryan plunked Heaston Schwob leading off. Alex Easley pinch-ran for Schwob and he scored moments later when Connor West doubled to right-center field. Quinton Smith then got hit by a pitch, but West got caught stealing at third for the first out of the frame. After Caleb Richison was walked, Derek Snyder bunted for a hit to load the bases, before pinch-runner Thomas Parker came home on a wild pitch. Drew Schnitz got the third run of the frame home on a fielder's choice.
Up 3-0, the Vikings brought out the lumber in the fifth to end the game early. Evan Brown started things with a walk before Braydin Stell and Schwob hit back-to-back doubles to run the lead to 5-0. West singled for a third run before Smith got hit with a pitch for the second time and Richison hit an infield single.
Snyder's single up the middle made the count 8-0 before Schnitz struck out and Devon Goelz reached on an error. Brown singled to right for a 9-0 lead, but after Stell struck out, Snyder scored on a wild pitch to end the game.
Snyder went 3 for 3 with two runs batted in to lead a nine-hit HNHS attack. Connor West had two hits and two ribbies and Stell also had two RBI.