MIDDLEBURY — Northridge showed the uncanny ability of delivering clutch hits with two outs and two strikes Friday.
The Raiders tallied nine runs with two outs on the scoreboard and held on for a rather untidy 11-7 Northern Lakes Conference high school baseball win over the NorthWood Panthers.
Sophomore Andrew Kennedy drove in four runs and sophomore Matt Miller three as “The Ridge” improved to 13-4 overall and 6-2 in the NLC. “The Wood” dropped to 12-4 and 6-3. They are locked in a battle with Warsaw and Elkhart Memorial for upper berths in the league.
“Nobody wants to be in the hole like that with two strikes and two outs,” said Raider coach Andrew Brabender. “Our young hitters showed some toughness and were able to execute in those situations.”
Kennedy delivered a two-run single in the first inning for Northridge and junior Payton Carson a run-scoring double in the second.
The Raiders broke it open with six tallies in the fourth, featuring a two-run double by Kennedy, a solo home run by Miller and an RBI single by sophomore Andy Ross.
Miller gave Northridge some needed comfort with a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth.
“We didn’t help out our young pitchers much in this game,” said Panther skipper Zach Benko. “You can’t beat Northridge or anyone in our league by not making plays in the field.”
NorthWood kept it close early, getting a sacrifice fly from sophomore Chad Sellers in the second inning and a two-run homer from senior Blake Cleveland in the third to tie the score at 3-3.
Senior Kyle McCoy delivered a sacrifice fly in the sixth and sophomore Chad Sellers a two-run single in the seventh when the Panthers tallied three times with the aid of two walks, two hit batsmen and a Raider error.