For four years, Northwood baseball has tried to climb past Orange in the Big 8 pecking order. On Friday night, their time finally arrived.
After losing all seven of its games to Orange since becoming a 3A team in 2013, the Chargers dominated the Panthers 9-2 on Friday night at the Ronald Horton Baseball Complex in Pittsboro.
The win puts the Chargers two games ahead of Orange and Chapel Hill for 1st place in the Big 8 with four conference games remaining. Northwood finishes the regular season with two contests against the Tigers.
Orange (8-10, 4-3 in the Big 8) has now lost four of its last five.
The Panthers scored first after Jayden Poteat started the game with a single. After Poteat stole second, Jason Slaughter knocked him in with a single to right.
Yet the Chargers quickly put to rest any hopes the Panthers had of a repeat of Tuesday night’s 2-1 upset win in Hillsborough. Catcher Matt Oldham laced a triple off the centerfield wall, scoring leadoff batter Matt Hundley. Pitcher Patrick Szczypinki scored Hundley off a single, and the Chargers never trailed again.
Northwood added three more in the second. After Trey Romel singled, Hundley bunted and beat out a throw by pitcher Dalton Brown. Davis launched a 2-1 fastball to centerfield that got caught in the centerfield fence, leading to a ground rule double, scoring Romel. Oldham followed with a double down the right field line thatplated Davis and Hundley to push the Northwood lead to 5-1.
Orange’s final round came when freshman Dalton Brown singled. After Brown moved to third following an errant pickoff throw, freshman Joey Berini got an RBI single to right.
The Panthers return to Panther Field on Saturday to face Archbishop Moeller out of Cincinnati, Ohio at noon.