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  • Val T.

Northfield scores 5 in 7th, snaps Rochester’s 13-game TRC win streak

Paulik has 2 hits, 2 RBIs for Zebras


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC


Carson Paulik

Brandon McKillip had two hits, including the go-ahead RBI single as part of a five-run seventh inning, and he also retired all four batters he faced on the mound for the win as the Northfield baseball team beat Rochester 9-4 at Bob Copeland Field Monday.

The loss snapped Rochester’s 13-game Three Rivers Conference winning streak. The Zebras went 9-0 in conference play last year and had not lost a conference game since May 2022.

Carson Paulik had two hits and two RBIs at the plate, and Brady Coleman had a double and an RBI. Jake Seuferer also drove in a run when Northfield pitcher Ty Leming hit him with a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth.

With the game tied 4-4, Kameron Pratt led off the top of the seventh with his third hit, a single off Paulik. Wyatt Bucher laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Pratt to second.

Pratt then advanced to third on a wild pitch.

That forced Rochester to bring the infield in, and McKillip sent a chopper over Paulik’s head and past the drawn-in infield to give the Norsemen a 5-4 lead.

McKillip stole second but was only able to advance to third on Caleb DuBois’ double that turned around Parker Casper in center field.

Rochester coach Cory Good then elected to intentionally walk Korbin Haupert, who had been 3 for 3, to load the bases.

Jared Holmes then hit a chopper at Paulik, who deflected it, recovered and threw home, but McKillip beat the play to make it 6-4.

Paulik struck out Leming looking, and Good replaced Paulik with Casper.

But Maddux Daniels greeted Casper with a two-run single, and Jaden Baer added an RBI infield single to make it 9-4.

McKillip then struck out Colton Ferverda, Brant Beck and Brady Beck to end the game.

“We knew we were rolling the dice a little bit going in there to the seventh or his fourth time through the order a little bit,” Rochester coach Cory Good said of Paulik. “I think a little familiarity with them and a little fatigue and yeah, some good approaches by Northfield for sure.”

Northfield had taken a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth when Haupert singled, stole second, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch. Paulik eventually escaped further trouble when he got Jaden Baer to ground to Tanner Reinartz, who stepped on third and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.

Rochester got the run back in the bottom half as Northfield needed three pitchers to navigate their way through the inning.

Brady Beck led off with a single off Leming. Casper flew out to left.

Lefty Ben Snyder replaced Leming but hit Coleman with a pitch. Runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch. 

Snyder slipped a called third strike past Paulik.

Northfield coach Joseph Mitchell elected to walk Reinartz intentionally to load the bases.

Snyder then hit Seuferer in the leg to tie the game.

Mitchell took out Snyder and replaced him with McKillip, who came in with 37 strikeouts and only four hits allowed in 16 innings.

Young took the first pitch for a ball and then hit a hot grounder down the third baseline, but Maddux Daniels made a backhanded stab and won the race to third for an inning-ending forceout.

The Zebras left 10 on base for the game. They also left the bases loaded in the first when McKillip made a running catch on Ferverda’s fly to deep left-center.

“I just think it’s a little pressing with guys on base, or ‘I’ve got to come through,’ or ‘I never get a hit with two outs,’ and it’s just team at-bats, going up there and seeing pitches and going back to that middle and right side of the field and not trying to do too much,” Good said.

Rochester had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on Coleman’s two-out, RBI bloop double to right field and an RBI single by Paulik over the shortstop’s head.

Northfield answered with three unearned runs in the third, all after Paulik retired the first two batters.

Bucher reached on a throwing error, went to second on McKillip’s infield single and went to third on a DuBois walk.

Haupert lined a two-run single to tie the game and move DuBois to third. Haupert then stole second, and when the throw to try and get him sailed into center field for an error, DuBois came in to score.

Young singled and stole second in the third but was stranded.

Rochester tied it 3-3 in the fourth when Coleman walked with two outs, stole second and scored when Northfield’s right fielder lost Paulik’s fly ball in the sun for an RBI double.

An underhand flip from Reinartz at third base started a nifty 5-4-3 double play in the fifth. That inning also included a catch on the move from Seuferer on a DuBois foul pop.

Still, the three Zebra errors as compared to the Norsemen’s none were crucial.

“That was the difference in the game really,” Good said. “We clean up that defense, and they score three in the third, and I think they were all unearned. So very timely errors today. I think that was the biggest thing. But not real happy with the defense.”

Northfield 9, Rochester 4

Northfield 003 001 5 – 9 11 0

Rochester 020 101 0 – 4 5 3

WP – Brandon McKillip (1 ⅓ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)

LP – Carson Paulik (6 ⅔ IP, 8 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 HBP, 6 K)

2B – Kameron Pratt (NF), Caleb DuBois (NF), Brady Coleman (RHS), Carson Paulik (RHS)


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