Northwood used strong pitching and key hitting to power past Chapel Hill 4-1 Saturday night to earn the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big 8 Conference tournament. The Tigers are the No. 3 seed.
“It means a lot,” Northwood coach Rick Parks said. “It means we could have two home games if we keep winning, and that makes a difference.”
Northwood starting pitcher Patrick Szczypinksi went five innings, and allowed no runs and seven hits.
Relief pitcher Brodie Beasley entered the game in the sixth with the Chargers holding a 4-0 lead and struck out the side.
The Tigers prevented the shutout in the seventh on senior Connor Stough’s sacrifice fly that sent outfielder Nick Hebert home with two outs.
“Patrick owes Brodie a steak dinner tonight,” Parks said jokingly. “I hadn’t planned on bringing him in so early in the sixth, but I felt the game might be getting out of hand, and he came through.”
After scoring a run in the first inning, the Chargers held the 1-0 lead until the fourth.
A Beasley double and a walk to Jimmy Mazurek sent Chapel Hill starter Justin Anthony to the sideline. Anthony allowed one run and seven hits.
Junior right hand pitcher Jackson Pettee was rocked by Max Hundley with a hard single down the right field line that loaded the bases. Logan Crabtree’s long sacrifice fly to center field brought in Beasley, and back-to-back hits by Conner Leinbach and Matt Oldham gave Northwood a commanding 4-0 lead.
The Tigers left 11 men on base, twice with the bases loaded, including the seventh inning.
“We just didn’t do a good job of situational hitting tonight,” Chapel Hill coach Lee Land said. “We left a lot of guys on base and didn’t take advantage of the opportunities. But they competed well, and I’m looking for the same effort when we go into the tournament. We’re going to face the same type of hitting and pitching that we saw tonight.”