Mustangs still unbeaten
Northport High (12-0) notched four more Panorama League North (Northeast 1B) wins last week.
The Mustangs of coach Don Baribault swept host St. Michael’s last Saturday, 8-4, 16-6. In a doubleheader at Curlew back on April 17, NHS won 9-2, 13-7.
Northport was home on Tuesday for a doubleheader against Selkirk. On Saturday, Odessa/Harrington visits for a doubleheader (noon).
The Mustangs will finish the regular season against Wilbur-Creston and Cusick.
In the sweep of St. Michaels, Daulton Burke locked horns against St. Mike’s hard-throwing Michael Cyr.
Burke was tough on the Warriors all around, pitching six strong innings and striking out 12. Jeremiah Johnson closed out the seventh in relief.
Burke also paced Northport’s offense. The Kettle Falls transfer nearly hit for the cycle—single, double and a home run (his fifth of the season).
Carl Case, Patrick Lamb and Jim Quilter combined to pick up four hits and walk four times.
Northport strung together seven hits in the opener.
In the game two win, Brandon Hedrick shook off some wildness and threw an effective four-inning stint for NHS.
“He is our hardest thrower and he was mixing his pitches well,” coach Baribault said. “If he can find a bit more control, Brandon will be a great option in the playoffs.”
Josh Konkler pitched the fifth inning finale.
Northport blew the game open with a nine-run rally in the second inning after plating three runs in the first inning. The Mustangs added four more in the fourth frame.
Hedrick had a pair of doubles in Northport’s 14 hit attack. Johnson, Lamb and Graham also doubled.
“We were able to substitute a lot as the game progressed,” Baribault said of the second game win. “We played a lot of small ball…singles were on the agenda in game two.”
In the sweep at Curlew, Johnson opposed 6-6 Jamie Zerck on the hill.
“Zerck is a big kid who has improved a ton each year on the hill,” Baribault said. “He throws very hard and was our first real test this year.”
Northport nicked Zerck for a pair of first inning runs and three more in the third inning. In the first inning, a walk, a couple of stolen bases and some well-placed bunts got the job done for the Mustangs.
Burke goes yard twice at Curlew
In the third inning, Burke drilled a Zerck fastball for a three-run home run.
Burke capped Northport’s two-run sixth inning with a two-run home run.
Northport got off to another fast start in the second game with three runs in the first inning and three more in the second.
Konkler got the start for Northport and was roughed up when Curlew plated seven runs in the bottom of the first inning.
In all fairness to Konkler, Northport didn’t provide much in the way of defensive support in the first inning.
“That was one of the worst innings I can remember,” Baribault said of the ugly Curlew first frame. “After getting the leadoff hitter to ground out, we made several fielding and throwing errors on routine plays. I was very disappointed with our lack of focus after winning the first game.
“In the long run, it will be a good learning tool, but we need to win the game as well.”
Northport battled back from the early deficit to even the count in the fourth inning.
Konkler went the distance and was solid after that ugly first inning. He scattered six hits.
Hedrick was four 4 for 5 with three doubles to pace the 14 hit attack.
“Again, I am hoping that these experiences teach us a lesson about keeping a focus and an edge the entire time we are on the field,” Baribault said. “Despite the tough start, I was proud of the comeback and the renewed energy once we felt threatened.”