Hoping to snap their five-game losing streak to begin the year, the Norsemen earned their first victory March 26 against Summit 7-2 in the Arvada High School Tournament. Falling behind 1-0 didn’t …
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Hoping to snap their five-game losing streak to begin the year, the Norsemen earned their first victory March 26 against Summit 7-2 in the Arvada High School Tournament.
Falling behind 1-0 didn’t discourage the Norse as they tied things in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to a leadoff single by sophomore Medel Castillo, who eventually came around to score on a Tigers error. Taking their first lead 2-1 in the second, a leadoff walk to senior Isiah Pena, who was replaced by pinch-runner junior Elias Castaneda, scored. The Norse seized control the rest of the way.
Dominating on the mound, Pena struck out five of the first six batters he faced. Allowing just one run in six innings, the powerful righty gave up only two hits.
“He came out with a lot of confidence,” Northglenn manager Chris Mann said. “His off-speed (pitches) was money today, and he got ahead of the count often, keeping them off-balance.”
Scraping together nine hits on the afternoon, Northglenn’s patient approach at the plate against Summit sophomore Pavel Bernlohr proved beneficial to a group that had combined for nine runs the previous five games. Two-run innings in both the third and fourth spaced out the Norse lead as seniors Nestor Lagunas, Caden Martinez, sophomore Manny Cardona, and Castillo each drove in a run.
“Something we have been working on all year is going to the plate with an approach. You’re looking for that one pitch, one zone and staying back to drive the baseball,” Mann said. “We understand that we are not going to hit the cover off the baseball all day, but stringing together base-hits is the approach we have to take and keep driving in runs.”
Tallying an insurance run in the fifth on a Pena sacrifice fly, the lone score the rest of the way for Summit came in the seventh with 2-out. Back in the win column for the first time since May 5 a year ago, this one feels extra sweet.
“It’s always good to get that first win under your belt,” Mann said with a big smile postgame. “We’ve seen that we can do it, we’ve seen what it takes to do it and keep that approach. We know we don’t have to come out and put of 100 runs to win baseball games. We know when we have a good guy on the mound, all it’s going to take is 7-8 runs to win. Getting that little bit of confidence going into the next game is huge. The weight has been put off of our shoulders.”
To wrap up the spring break tournament March 27, the Norse (2-6) defeated Manual 7-2 followed by a 15-2 defeat to Sheridan later that day.
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