Vikings topple Raiders for Easter tourney title

Mar. 30, 2013 @ 10:02 PM

Northern Vance is playing how head coach Benji Nelson expected the Vikings to at the begining of the season.

Northern continued its climb back from a slow start to the season Saturday with a 12-2, five-inning win over crosstown rival Southern Vance to claim the Webb Easter Tournament championship and improve its overall record to 5-3.

“We’re playing well,” Nelson said. “Winning this, carrying momentum into next week — I think our confidence is big right now. And that’s a good thing.”

Barry Purnell got the win for the Vikings, going the distance while allowing five hits and striking out four in his second outing of the season.

Purnell was the only Northern batter not to record a hit although he reached base in each of his four at-bats.

The Vikings capped a seven-run fifth inning when Trey Stainback cleared the loaded bases, smacking a shot too hot for the Southern center fielder to end the game.

“We just collectively made too many errors as a team,” said Southern head coach Tony McGhee. “I’m proud of our team. We played well in this tournament.”

Kyle Lawrence threw 4.2 innings for the Raiders before David Adcock came on.

“I think Kyle did a good job,” said McGhee. “He just didn’t have the support behind him. Drove his pitch count up. When you make errors and extend innings, that’s going to happen.”

Southern took an early 2-0 lead in the second, but Northern snagged the lead back in the bottom half when leadoff hitter TaBrian Scott ripped a bases-clearing double to left field. Scott’s count was three balls and no strikes.

“I have signals for a green light on a 3-0 pitch,” said Nelson. “Fortunate for him, he got a hit because he didn’t have the green light there. But it worked out for him.”

Purnell, Travon Scott, Trey Stainback, and Tyquan Bryant were named to the all-tourney team for Northern and Lawrence, David Adcock, Dustin Brummitt, and Brandon Salmon made it for Southern.

The Vikings and Raiders face off again Wednesday at Southern in their first of two 3-A Carolina Conference meetings.

Roxboro Community School defeated Franklin Academy in Saturday’s second game.

                          1   2   3   4   5   6    7   FINAL

SOUTHERN    0   2    0   0   0   X   X      2

NORTHERN    0   4    0   1   7  X   X       12

LEADING HITTERS

SOUTHERN — David Adcock 1-for-3, Kyle Lawrence 2-for-2, Montavis Gray 1-for-2, Latrel Fields 1-for-2

NORTHERN — TaBrian Scott 1-for-3 (3 RBI), Trey Stainback 1-for-4, Zach Pegram 1-for-2 (RBI), Chris Paulson 1-for-3, Thomas Abbott 1-for-3 (RBI), Kale Boone 1-for-3, Tyquan Bryant 1-for-1, Travon Scott 1-for-2 (2 RBI)

WEBB EASTER TOURNAMENT

1. Northern Vance, 3-0

2. Southern Vance, 2-1

3. Roxboro Community School, 2-1

4. Franklin Academy, 1-2

5. Webb, 1-2

6. Roanoke Rapids, 0-3

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.