Vikings in 'need' of win

Apr. 01, 2014 @ 12:14 AM

Trailing by a run, Northern Vance got off to a great start in the top of the seventh inning Monday against Raleigh Enloe when Jared Bennett smacked a towering leadoff double to right-center field.

Northern soon had runners on the corners with no outs, but never capitalized in a 5-4 loss in the J.F. Webb Easter Baseball Tournament.

Bennett, who finished 3-for-4 at the plate, was tagged out at home for Enloe’s second out after the Eagles’ first baseman misplayed a pop-up in the back of the infield.

Reliever Austin King got out of the jam and Enloe claimed fifth place at the tourney, which wrapped up Monday after the intended final day was rained out last Saturday.

“We played better today than we have in a while,” said Northern head coach Benji Nelson. “We’re still making mistakes at crucial points in the game that are hurting us.”

Nelson called the game Northern’s best of the tourney. The Vikings (3-6) started the event with a loss to Granville Central before falling to Southern Vance.

Kale Boone got the start Monday for Northern and threw four innings before being relieved by southpawJabe Montgomery.

“He gave us a shot to win there at the end,” Nelson said of Montgomery. “That’s all you can ask for. We just didn’t capitalize.”

Northern led 3-0 and regained a 4-3 advantage in the fourth inning.

Chris Paulson and Nate Arrington each recorded a pair base hits for the Vikings, who return to 3-A Big Eight Conference action Tuesday at home against Southern Durham.

Northern looks to snap a four-game losing streak and win its first league game.

“Going through this rough stretch right here can hurt confidence and things like that,” said Nelson. “So we need a win and we need a win bad.”

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.