Scott, Purnell homer for Vikes; Arrington fans 14 in win over Webb
Northern Vance coach Benji Nelson asked for someone on his team to step up and provide a spark before Friday’s game at J.F. Webb.The spark came in the fifth inning, but the fashion in which it did caught the Vikings’ coach somewhat by surprise.
Down 3-1, leadoff hitter TaBrian Scott knocked a towering two-run shot over the left field fence to tie the game. Barry Purnell followed with a home run of his own and Northern scored three more in the inning on its way to a 9-4 win to open 3-A Carolina Conference play.
It was the first round-tripper of Scott’s high school career.
“He gave us the spark that we needed,” Nelson said of the sophomore second baseman. “Smallest guy on the team. He hits a bomb there and it just trickled down. Everybody on the team started feeding off of that and came to life.”
Junior Nate Arrington tossed a complete game for the Vikings, allowing one earned run on seven hits while striking out 14.
“You’re not going to win with that approach at the plate,” said Webb coach Mike Carroll. “Not with a kid like Arrington on the mound.”
Northern improved to 2-3 while Webb dropped to 3-5 overall and 0-2 in league play.
Nelson said the Vikes had been struggling as of late. Northern lost twice to Person and once to Nash Central.
“I’m glad that we came out and challenged each other,” said Nelson, “still early in the season, to try to turn things around because we have not been playing well lately. And this ought to be a big confidence booster.”
Both teams have struggled with errors. The Warriors improved Friday after 34 errors in four games following Wednesday’s loss to Granville Central.
“When one thing goes great, 10 things go bad for us,” said Carroll.
Webb jumped out to a 3-0 lead Friday before Northern got one back in the fourth inning on a Chris Paulson rip to left.
Travon Scott led off the fifth with a double to the gap in right-center field before his brother, TaBrian, blasted the two-run shot.
Northern sent 12 batters to the plate in the fifth. Thomas Abbott added a two-run opposite field double to right and Travon Scott recorded his second hit of the frame with a rip up the middle to plate Tyquan Bryant.
“Hats off to them for hitting the ball there,” said Carroll. “But at the same time, our pitchers have to understand how to pitch at that point. We have to get ahead so we can use some of our off-speed stuff so we’re not serving it up to them.”
Junior Michael Dalton started and worked 4.1 innings for Webb before being relieved by Andrew Watson and David Watson.
Ethan Bailey led the Warriors at the plate with two hits.
Northern improved to 2-0 this season while wearing its new camouflage jerseys and caps. The Vikings return to Oxford next weekend for Webb’s Easter tournament.
The Warriors face Garden City, N.Y. before visiting Person Tuesday.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 FINAL
NORTHERN 0 0 0 1 7 0 1 9
WEBB 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 4
NORTHERN — TaBrian Scott (1-for-4, 2 RBI), Barry Purnell (1-for-4, RBI), Trey Stainback (2-for-4), Zach Pegran (1-for-3), Nate Arrington (1-for-3), Thomas Abbott (1-for-4, 2 RBI), Chris Paulson (2-for-4, RBI), Travon Scott (2-for-4, RBI)
WEBB — Andrew Watson (1-for-3), David Watson (1-for-3), Michael Dalton (1-for-4), Chad Frazier (1-for-3), Ethan Bailey (2-for-3), Beau Smith (1-for-3, RBI),
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