North Shore Vikings prove to be a tough team

Coach Arleigh Jorgenson


Above: Frankie Miller took to the mound for the Vikings against International Fall recently. Miller pitched a good game but the Vikings fell 7-0 in the contest. 
Staff photos/Laurie Johnson Above: Frankie Miller took to the mound for the Vikings against International Fall recently. Miller pitched a good game but the Vikings fell 7-0 in the contest. Staff photos/Laurie Johnson Spectators enjoyed some of the finest baseball played in Cook County in some time on July 1 when International Falls came to town for the first time ever. The score was not indicative of the games played. International Falls defeated the Vikings 7-0 and 8-2, but the matches were pretty even.

Frankie Miller took the hill for the Vikings in the first game and walked their lead-off hitter, who came around to score after being moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, moved to third on a ground ball to shortstop Leo Johnson, and then scored on a passed ball. Not a great way to start, but a second ground ball to Johnson ended the inning.

All-area pitcher, and U of MN and NDSU recruit Ben Humbert took the mound for International Falls. Humbert was the hardest thrower we had ever seen and he opened our eyes as to what this game can be all about. Our players were treated to something special. He mowed us down with three strikeouts.


Left: Leading off from first base, Owen Anderson was doing his best to distract the International Falls pitcher and hopefully make a mad dash to steal second. Below: Waiting patiently for the pitch, Joe Borud gets ready to smack a double against the Falls. The Vikings lost the second game of the double header 8-2, but outhit the Falls 8-7. Left: Leading off from first base, Owen Anderson was doing his best to distract the International Falls pitcher and hopefully make a mad dash to steal second. Below: Waiting patiently for the pitch, Joe Borud gets ready to smack a double against the Falls. The Vikings lost the second game of the double header 8-2, but outhit the Falls 8-7. Jack Wieben corralled a hard shot and Bradley Wilson scooped it out of the dirt for the first out of the second. Clearly these Vikings were not going to roll over. A hard smash to Rory Bakke at second turned into out number two. A single was harmless and Bakke took the next ground ball and stepped on second to return his team to the dugout.

Frankie Miller stepped to the plate and promptly delivered a double to cheers from the bench. Wieben and Johnson struck out, but the score was only 1-0.

International Falls leadoff hitter started it out with a single, but was thrown out trying to steal on Joe Borud behind the plate. A ground ball to Bakke followed, and a deep and towering fly ball to Andrew Miller in right ended the inning.

Colton Furlong and Andrew Miller both struck out facing Humbert, but Bradley Wilson drew a walk. Unfortunately for all, Humbert had to leave the game with soreness in his shoulder. The Vikings were all itching for another chance against him, something they will all remember for a long time.

Owen Anderson then grounded out to second to end the inning.

Frankie Miller went out for the fourth and induced a fly-out to Owen Anderson in center, a ground ball to Bakke at second. Johnson committed an error at shortstop, but was picked up as their number seven hitter flied out to center. The Vikings’ half of the inning ended quickly with a ground ball back to the pitcher, a ground ball to the shortstop, and a strikeout.

Then the Falls went to work. A walk was followed by a sacrifice to move the runner to second. The top of the order then followed with three straight hits, followed by a ground ball back to Frankie Miller, followed by another hit and an error at third base before a line drive was caught by Bakke to end the inning. There were four more on the board.

Wieben started it out with a walk, but was erased as Johnson hit into a double play. Furlong and Andrew Miller kept it alive, however, with back-to-back hits, but Bradley Wilson struck out.

Frankie Miller shut them down with four up and three down in the 6th. After Anderson flew out, Bakke drew a walk. Borud hit it hard, but it turned into a double play. With two out in the seventh, the Falls scored two runs on a hit, a hit batsman, and an error at first base. Johnson hit a double and Andrew Miller drew a walk, but that was all that the Vikings could muster and the game ended 7-0.

The Vikings were outhit by International Falls 7 hits to 4. We struck out nine times, they struck out once, for a significant difference. Walks favored I Falls 5-4. It was a battle between two very strong teams. The Vikings just failed to put runs on the board.

Bakke started for the Vikings in the second game, and pitched a gem. The curve-ball that we were waiting for him to be able to put where he wanted came alive and brought smiles to his face as well as to those of us watching.

International Falls put one on the board in the first inning after a hit, a sacrifice, and a strikeout that was dropped by Frankie Miller behind the plate. A fielder’s choice allowed the first runner to score. They followed with another in the second with a hit, the runner moving into scoring position on a ground ball out, and another hit.

The Vikings, however, responded. Anderson led off with a single. He moved to second on a passed ball, and to third on another. Borud walked, and stole second. Anderson scored on another passed ball.

Bakke held them scoreless through the next three innings, and the Vikings tied it with a two out rally. Borud doubled and Frankie Miller drove him in with a double of his own. Wieben reached first by being hit with the pitch. Johnson struck out to end it, but the game was now tied.

Turn-about was about to play out, however, as a double was followed by two two-out walks and a passed ball to score the leading run.

The Vikings could not rally, and began to tire with several regulars missing to injury and illness. Borud pitched the final inning, and had trouble getting that third out. A couple of missed plays, mixed with four walks and a double over the head of Anderson, allowed five runs to cross for the Falls and led to a more lopsided score of 8-2 than the game deserved.

Cook County led the hitting totals with 8 hits to 7. Strikeouts were a problem again, however, as the Vikings struck out 12 times to 4 for the Falls. Walks also favored International Falls 7 to 5. Doubles were equal at two apiece.

All in all, the Vikings showed why they finished fourth in their high school section, and that it was not at all a fluke. International Falls knew they had played a tough team and left for home satisfied that they had made a trip that was well worth it. These Vikings are still young, but they are for real and they are feeling it.


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