Evergreen used a big first inning and overcame five errors to pick up their first NWOAL win of the season, a 6-2 decision over Liberty Center on Friday.
The Tigers jumped on top in the first against Viking starter Nick Etue on Eli Weaver’s single and consecutive errors to score an unearned run.
Evergreen came back with help from some poor Tiger defense in the home half, scoring six runs.
Etue walked to start the inning and came all the way around to score on Alec Truckor’s bunt single coupled with a throwing error. Noah Eisel then walked, Truckor scored on a wild pitch and Levi Carson’s smash was misplayed for a third Viking run.
Sam Lubinski followed with a sharp single to left to score the fourth run of the inning, then, with one down, Johnny Ruth’s base hit marked a fifth and Jon Milliken beat out a dribbler to the infield for the sixth run of the opening inning.
After Jacob Cox’ RBI-single plated Austin Bachman in the second, Etue went the last five innings unscathed, giving up just three singles the rest of the way.
In his best outing of the season, the senior right-hander walked only two, struck out three while giving up two runs, one of which was earned to pick up the victory.
Joseph Everson was the victim of the first inning Tiger misplays, but only allowed four hits the rest of the way. Everson walked two and mowed down five on strikes.
Evergreen followed Friday with a Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hyde doubleheader split, winning 5-2 and giving away a 10-3 loss to Lenawee Christian.
Teagen Pinkelman threw six innings of shutout ball in the opener, striking out eight, walking just one, before allowing John Gamel’s two-run double in the seventh that broke up the shutout.
Evergreen got to Lenawee Christian starter Liam Hardy in the first when Etue opened with a single, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on Carson’s ground out.
Pinkelman helped his own cause in the third when he drew a two-out walk and stole second, then scored on Phoenix VanOstrand’s line drive single to right-center.
Evergreen put the game away in the fourth as Nick Hudik and Truckor drew walks, then with two-down Eisel’s ringing shot to right center scored a pair and after Carson’s single, the pair worked a double steal for the fifth Viking run.
However, in the nightcap, Viking starter Dave Moore walked the first four LC batters, getting help when Eisel shot down the first LC base runner trying to steal.
Hardy’s bases loaded double and Jonah Schmucker’s single scored four first inning runs, and LC added three more in the fourth on a walk, base hits by Jacob Single and Hardy and a pair of wild pitches to go up 7-0. Lenawee Christian picked up a single run off Nick Hudik in the fifth and two more in the seventh.
Evergreen’s three runs came in the bottom of the fourth when Eisel and Carson singled and both scored when Ruth’s grounder was booted at second. Ruth then stole second and came around on two wild pitches for the third run.
The Vikes made a bid to get all the way back in the game in the fifth, loading the bases with no one out. However, Eisel’s smash up the middle was gloved by pitcher Matt Sigle and turned into a 1-2-3 double play. Then, Carson’s drive into deep right center was caught to end the threat.
The Vikings are now 6-14 on the season, with games at Stryker today and at Adrian College against Montpelier Wednesday evening.
Sectional draws were announced on Sunday as Evergreen learned where they will begin the OHSAA state baseball tournament.
Evergreen is competing in the Division III Defiance District, where they are at Wayne Trace this Saturday at 11 a.m. in the sectional semifinal. If victorious, they will take on Archbold on Thursday, May 12 for the title.
Joe Blystone can be reached at email@example.com