FIELD TWP- The North Woods baseball team is on a roll, chalking up impressive wins in contests against Mesabi East last week and Littlefork-Big Falls on Tuesday.The Vikings had a long bus ride home …
FIELD TWP- The North Woods baseball team is on a roll, chalking up impressive wins in contests against Mesabi East last week and Littlefork-Big Falls on Tuesday.
The Vikings had a long bus ride home on Tuesday after the Grizzlies dropped the hammer in a 12-0, five-inning affair. Starting North Woods pitcher Jake Panichi tallied three strikeouts in the top of the first, and the Grizzlies blew the game wide open in the bottom half of the inning, scoring nine runs. Jake Panichi, Ty Leinonen, Austin Sokoloski, Louie Panichi, Cole Thiel, and Zach Cheney all moved runners across the plate with RBIs in the frame.
North Woods picked up single runs in each of the next three innings to add to their lead. Jake Panichi allowed just one Vikings hit and recorded 10 strikeouts before giving way to reliever Caleb Uchal in the fourth inning.
The Grizzlies collected 11 hits, with Leinonen’s 3-for-3 performance leading the way.
It was only slightly less lopsided in the Grizzlies’ contest against Mesabi East. After a scoreless first inning on the Giants’ home diamond, the Grizzlies rattled Mesabi East starter Brayden Leffel with singles and stolen bases by Andrew Zika and Chris Chauklin, and a walk by Ben Kruse to open the second. All three advanced and scored on wild pitches by Leffel that got past the catcher.
Zach Cheney added to the Grizzlies’ 3-0 lead in the top of the third. Cheney smashed a line drive single to center, stole second, then advanced to third on a Jake Panichi ground out. Cheney sprinted home when the catcher had to throw the ball to first base after a dropped third strike.
The Grizzlies got all the runs they would need to win when Chauklin launched a three-run homer to left with two out in the top of the fifth. Cheney and Panichi scored ahead of him for a 7-0 lead.
Drawing the start on the mound for the Grizzlies, Cheney held the Giants in check for the first four innings, but in the fifth the Giants picked up two runs on an RBI double and a run on a North Woods error to get back in the game at 7-3.
The Grizzlies erased any notion of a comeback in their next at bat. With two out in the top of the sixth, Louis Panichi reached base on an error, followed by a Cole Thiel walk. Cheney smacked a double to score Panichi, and then Jake Panichi doubled to score Thiel and Cheney.
The Giants scratched across another run in the bottom of the inning, but the Grizzles held on for a 10-4 win.
Cheney held the Giants to six hits against nine strikeouts in the complete-game win, and went 3-for-4 at the plate. Seven Grizzlies collected 11 hits in the game.
North Woods is scheduled to host Cherry on Friday before traveling to Pequot Lakes next Tuesday.