All year long Evergreen coach Mark Cymbolin has been waiting for his entire lineup to hit at the same time.
Then in the span of one inning, all previous wrongs became right as the Vikings sent 14 batters to the plate in a nine-run fifth to come from a 4-2 deficit to take a 12-4 win over Delta Friday in baseball.
The win pushed the Vikings to 10-7 overall and 4-2 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League.
“We’ve been struggling for the last couple weeks at the plate, especially at the end of our lineup,” stated Cymbolin. “Today our approaches at the plate, our game plan at the plate was better and we had some success.
“It’s been some time coming for that to happen. We’ve been talking about getting the ball in play and squaring up and today we had a lot of balls we hit sharp.”
It was the Panthers who jumped out early, taking advantage of Brock Hudik’s wildness to take a 2-0 lead in the first. Four walks and a two-out throwing error led to the Panther tallies.
Evergreen knotted things up in the third.
Austin Marvin led off with a base hit and stole second.
Hudik followed with a bloop single to left to put runners on first and third, then Ashton Sayers lined a shot off the leg of Panther starter Austin Michael to score one run and a ground out marked a second.
Delta loaded the bases in the fourth off reliever Nick Smithmyer with no one down.
Two base on balls around Hunter Hamilton’s single to left center — the only Delta hit of the day — jacked the sacks full of Panthers.
A force play at second brought in one run then Max Hoffman, along with Hamilton, worked the delayed double steal to double the Delta lead at 4-2.
However, in the blink of an eye that lead disappeared in the top of the next inning.
Hudik singled off Hamilton who had taken the mound in relief to start the inning.
The fleet junior stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pickoff throw to chop the Panther lead in half.
Then Sayers followed by hammering a drive over the left field wall to tie the game.
Landen Vance’s double into deep center, a walk and Alex Peete’s base hit put Evergreen on top for good but the Vikes were far from done in the fifth.
Payton Boucher slammed a shot over the center fielder’s head to mark two more Viking runs, Marvin’s bouncer to third scored another and the errant throw to first on the play added one more.
Zach Laver’s ringing double into the left center gap plated the last two Evergreen runs, bringing the Vikes from two down to up 11-4.
Marvin painted the line leading off the seventh with a double and Laver’s base hit scored the last Evergreen run.
Smithmyer worked the last six innings to get the victory.
The junior right-hander walked five more Delta hitters, struck out seven and gave up two earned runs.
Six different Vikings had two or more hits in a 15-hit attack.
Hudik had three while Laver, Sayers, Peete, Boucher and Marvin all had two each.
The Evergreen 7-8-9 hitters went 6-12 for the game.
“When the bottom of our order gets on base, gets hits like they did today it gives us a chance to turn our order over and more opportunity to produce runs,” Cymbolin said. “We can extend an inning like we did today and gives our RBI guys a chance to knock in some runs.”
The Vikings host Swanton Friday after Monday’s game between the two was canceled due to poor field conditions. They will then travel to Holgate for a doubleheader on Saturday.