Northgate hammers Starr's Mill 15-5

Wed, 04/02/2008 - 8:28pm
By: Kevin Wandra

There are losses, and then there are beatdowns.

Starr’s Mill suffered the latter Tuesday, losing to Northgate 15-5 in five innings Wednesday in a Region 2-AAAA game in Fayetteville.

Northgate moved into second place in the region with the victory, its second straight, improving its region record to 5-2. Starr’s Mill fell into a tie for third place with McIntosh with its second straight loss; both teams are 4-2 in the region.

The game was essentially over by the third inning, with the Vikings bashing their way to a double-digit lead, 10-0.

Starr’s Mill’s bats, meanwhile, were silenced by Northgate’s Danny Cain, who confounded Starr’s Mill through the first four innings with his left-handed, side-armed pitching, holding the Panthers to one hit — a second-inning single by Michael Jeanes — no runs, one hit batsman and two walks.

After Terrion Pope reached on a fielding error to lead off the seventh, Cain picked up two quick outs, inducing David Norman to hit into a fielder’s choice and striking out Ken Jackson.

Cain was one out away from closing the game, but he suddenly began to tire, walking the next two batters, Drew Johnson and Bryan Hasse, before he was replaced by another side-armer, right-hander Andrew Filipowski.

The Panthers’ bats awakened once Cain’s night concluded.

The first three batters Filipowski faced got hits, two of which drove in runs: an RBI single by Myles Jaye and a grand slam by Ed Cook over the left-field fence.

Cook gave the Panthers a glimmer of hope with one swing of the bat.

Jeff Stock followed with a single to left field, but Filipowski worked his way out of the jam by inducing Jeanes to hit a game-ending grounder back to the mound.

Northgate had one of its best games of the season at the plate, battering Starr’s Mill’s pitching for 14 hits.

An RBI single to left field by Derek Hooper, a first-pitch, two-run single up the middle by Drew Tolbert and an opposite-field, RBI single by Dorian Johnson handed Northgate a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Northgate scored its first three runs before Starr’s Mill could record the first out of the game.

Northgate added another run in the second on a single by Tolbert and five more in the third; Devin Johnson hit an RBI single to right field, Danny Cain hit an RBI single to left field, John Render was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and two runs scored on a throwing error on a grounder hit to short by Tolbert.

Hooper had another run-scoring hit in the fourth, a two-out RBI single to left field, and then Render hammered a 1-0 pitch over the center-field fence for a three-run home run that probably still hasn’t landed.

Render’s blast, which traveled over 400 feet, was one of the farthest home runs ever hit at Starr’s Mill's home field.

Northgate’s 15th, and final, run came on a bases-loaded walk by Paul Rojas in the fourth.

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