Northwood falls in regional final
The North Brunswick Scorpions lifted their bats and put a beating on Northwood, piling up 13 hits for a 10-5 win and the 2-A Eastern regional championship on Monday.
The Scorpions got in most of their licks in the second inning, slapping six hits on the Chargers, including a homer.
“Their bats were red-hot,” Northwood coach Rick Parks said.
North Brunswick starting pitcher Kevon Perkins helped his cause in the top of the first inning when he laid into a meaty offering from Northwood pitcher Robert Straughn, sending it more than 345 feet over the left-field fence.
Northwood battled back in the bottom of the first when Ross Cooper sent a 2-2 delivery pretty much in the same direction and distance as Perkins’ first-inning shot, cleaning the bases with a two-out home run that gave the Chargers a 3-1 lead.
It was as if there was a vacuum in left field, because what appeared to be a routine pop fly from North Brunswick’s Davon Perkins in the second inning had just enough oomph to clear the fence and make it a 3-3 ball game.
Parks pulled Straughn off the mound and replaced him with Clark Streets, whose stuff wasn’t much better, and the coach replaced Streets with Steven Strong.
“It just looked like any button I pushed was the wrong button,” Parks said. “I’d love to be able to do it over. Hindsight is 20-20. I don’t know if I put my guys in a position to succeed.”
North Brunswick rattled off a total of seven runs in the second inning.
“They smoked those balls,” North Brunswick coach Dustin Medlin said.
The Chargers surged in the third, with Dylan Stasko driving in a couple of runs to close the gap.
But then Davon Perkins revisited left field, raising his bat in the seventh for a home run that gave North Brunswick some insurance, along with a run that Kevon Perkins drove in.
“I’ll tell you what, he has absolutely caught fire in the playoffs at the right time,” Medlin said about Kevon Perkins. “Their coach asked me why our power hitter wasn’t batting down in the order in the first game, but (Kevon) hadn’t been our power hitter all year, but he decided to in the playoffs. He picked a great time.”
North Brunswick will head into the state championship series better prepared after having dealt with Northwood, Medlin said.
“I’ll tell you what, they’ve got a tough ball club. That’s one of the best-hitting teams we’ve played,” Medlin said. “Any team that makes it to the Eastern finals two years in row, that’s a lot to be spoken of.”
After the game, words couldn’t express what the tears were saying on the long faces of the Chargers.
“It was the toughest huddle I’ve had to do in seven years,” Parks said. “It was emotional. The guys really bought into what we were doing this year. You want your season to end on tears — either you want to tear up at the end because you won it all or because you left everything on the field, and we did.”
N. Brunswick 10, Northwood 5
N. Brunswick |170|000|2—10|13|0
Batteries — N. Brunswick, Kevon Perkins (2 2/3), Jacob Shumate (WP) and Shak Graham; Northwood, Robert Straughn (LP), Clark Streets, Steven Strong, Jordan Riggsbee Andrew Webster and Webster, Jacob Sipe.
Leading hitters — N. Brunswick, Perkins 3-5 (HR, 2B, 4 RBI), Davon Perkins 2-3 (2HR, 3RBI); Northwood, Ross Cooper 2-4 (HR, 3RBI), Garrett Scoggins 1-3 (2RBI), Chase Golden 1-3 (2B).
Records —N. Brunswick 17-11; Northwood 24-7