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Huntington North splits weekend doubleheader

THIRD: Huntington North’s Jarret Gray pops up from his slide into third during the Vikings scrimmage against Wabash earlier this spring.

Staff reports

The Huntington North baseball team split a doubleheader with McCutcheon in Lafayette on Saturday. Game one saw the Vikings fall 8-4 before a bounce-back effort led to a 6-4 victory in game two.

In a match-up between two teams that have received votes in the Class 4A polls through the first two weeks, it was the Mavericks who struck first on the day, though it took time.

After the two teams held each other scoreless through three-and-a-half innings, the hosts finally jumped ahead with a six-run fourth inning, coming on four hits and an error.

Huntington North responded in the top of the fifth by plating three runs, all coming with two outs in the inning. Collin Landrum’s two-out walk was followed by a double from Ian McCutcheon.

Landrum and McCutcheon would score on an error on Jarret Gray’s fly ball before Gray would steal both second and third before eventually scoring himself, pulling Huntington North back to within three at 6-3.

The Mavericks would add runs in the fifth and sixth, though, to fend off the Vikings as they could manage just one more run the rest of the way, that coming on an RBI-groundout from Dane Fife to plate Zach Daugherty in the top of the sixth.

Landrum and McCutcheon each notched two hits on the day with a run apiece while Gray finished with a hit, a run and two RBIs. Williams had a hit and an RBI while Daughtery added a hit and a run.

Gage Sandlin was handed the loss as he went four innings, allowing five hits and six runs, but just one earned, on two walks and two strikeouts. Landrum faced two batters on the day, walking both and allowing a run. Trey Williams closed the game on the mound, giving up a run, a hit and a walk in two innings of work.

In game two, McCutcheon would again jump out to an early lead with a first-inning run, but Huntington North swung back in the third.

A single from Logan Moreland and a walk from Landrum set up an RBI-double from McCutcheon. Gray followed with an RBI single before stealing second. Bennett loaded the bases thanks to an error before a groundout from Daugherty plated McCutcheon, giving Huntington North a 3-1 lead.

The Vikings added three more in the fourth as an RBI single from Landrum plated Elliott Lesperance and a two-RBI single from Bennett scored Moreland and Landrum, pushing the guests ahead 6-1.

The Mavericks responded with three runs in the bottom-half of the fourth, but that would be all the hosts could muster as Daugherty and McCutcheon combined to allow just two hits over the final 3.2 innings.

Bennett earned the win on the day, going 3.1 innings and giving up four runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks. Daugherty pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out one while McCutcheon pitched the final three innings, giving up two hits and walking two while striking out five.

At the plate Landrum and Gray each had two-hit, one-RBI games for Huntington North. Moreland had two hits and two runs while McCutcheon had a hit and a run. Lesperance scored once on the day.

Huntington North moves to 3-1 with the split. The Vikings will be back in action tonight when they travel to Homestead for a sectional title rematch. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.