The Huntington North baseball team opened its postseason run on Wednesday, May 24, at Huntington University’s Forest Glen Park, earning a 10–3 comeback win over New Haven in sectional quarterfinal action.
The Bulldogs, designated as the home team, wasted no time getting on the board, tallying three runs in the bottom of the first for a quick 3–0 lead.
The Vikings answered right back in the top of the second, battling back to post four runs of their own, all coming with two outs. Marcus Linker drove in Jase Gunn with a single down the right field line before Wes Huff belted a triple down the line in left field to score Jimmy and Marcus Linker. In the ensuing at-bat, Isaac Wilson doubled, plating Huff to put Huntignton North ahead, 4–3.
After a shaky first inning on the mound, Huff settled in from there, not allowing a Bulldog hit in innings two through five and just one hit in the sixth. Unfortunately, the Viking offense also struggled to generate much of its own during the same stretch, sending the game to the seventh inning with the scoreboard still reading 4–3.
But Huntington North’s offense would finally ignite in the top of the seventh, as a Huff walk and successful bunts from Wilson and Cole Martz would load the bases with no outs.
Brady Harris and Lawson Doyle followed with walks, bringing in a pair of runs to give the Vikes breathing room at 6–3 while keeping the bases loaded with no outs and chasing New Haven’s starter.
Landon Moreland would drop a shallow single in to score Martz, pushing the gap to 7–3. Two batters later, a Jimmy Linker single brought in both Harris and Doyle, blowing the game open at 9–3, before a Marcus Linker sacrifice fly would plate Moreland to make things 10–3, with all 10 of Huntington North’s runs coming unanswered.
Martz moved to the mound in the bottom of the seventh and sent the Bulldogs down in order to close out the Viking victory.
Huff and Jimmy and Marcus Linker would all tally two RBIs to lead Huntington North offensively, with Huff being the lone Viking to cross the plate multiple times in what was a well-rounded offensive showing for Huntington North.
On the mound, Huff allowed three hits and three runs, all unearned, while walking two and striking out two in six innings of work. Martz’s spotless inning in the seventh would round out the Viking pitching performance, striking out one batter in the process.
Homestead 1, HN 0
Whether it was a 16-9 blowout in April or a pitchers’ duel in late May in the state tournament, Homestead seemed to have the Vikings’ number this season.
Huntington North entered the game Saturday, May 27, with a 16-3 record as they faced the 16-9 Spartans in the semifinal round of the Huntington Sectional, and all it took was one run.
Homestead scored one run in the bottom of the first inning and that would be it offensively for both teams as the Spartans held on for a 1-0 win and later blanked Fort Wayne South Side in the championship game, 10-0.
Both the Vikings and Spartans were held to just three hits each on the day.
Huntington North stats were not available for this game.
The Vikings end the season with a 16-4 record and won the NE8 Conference title with a perfect 7-0 mark.