Northport sweeps twinbill at St. George’s

Mustangs still haven’t been on their fieldDespite not having the opportunity to get on their field because of the soggy early-season conditions, Northport High’s baseball team turned in an auspicious season-opening sweep in Spokane against St. George’s back on March 20.The Mustangs, who got solid, if not impressive early-season pitching and timely hitting, swamped the Dragons, 14-3, 13-2.In the opener, Jeremiah Johnson, Brandon Hedrick and Jace Shaw combined on a 13- strikeout no-hitter.Dylan Masters had three hits in the opener and drove in five runs. Daulton Burke reached base in all five of his plate appearances, and Gabe Caznavette and Frederick Verhaeghe both delivered two-out, two-strike RBIs.The second game was very similar to the cold, blustery opener. Burke and Josh Konkler combined to toss a two-hitter in another easy win.The key hit for NHS in a game filled with walks and hit batters was a three-run home run by Brandon Hedrick.Northport High head coach Don Baribault said he was impressed with his team, particularly considering the circumstances—a cold day and the fact that his kids hadn’t gotten outside for even one practice session before the twinbill.Baribault said it might be a week before they will even be able to work on their field.“I was impressed that in the cold weather, our pitchers could look that sharp…they looked great,” Baribault said. “I think they should be dominant this year.”Baribault thinks offensive production will be down this spring because of the mandated change in bats. The new BBCOR bats being utilized in high school baseball mean less “pop” than the previously utilized BESR-certified metal bats.“I think this (new bat requirements) should benefit our team because I don’t think we’ll hit for a lot of power anyway. We are built around solid pitching and defense,” Baribault said. “I think we’ll be more of a ‘Small Ball’ team.”Baribault and assistant coach Erik Stark were able to get 20 players into both games. SCHEDULEMonday, March 19—At St. George’sTuesday, March 27—At Republic, 2Saturday, March 31—Wellpinit home, noonTuesday, April 3—Home, Wilbur-Creston, 1Tuesday, April 10—Home Columbia-Inchelium, 2Tuesday, April 17—At Curlew, 2Saturday, April 21—At St. Michael’s, noonTuesday, April 24—Home Selkirk, 2Saturday, April 28—Odessa-Harrington home, noonTuesday, May 1—At Cusick, 2All games are doubleheaders