Smith's homer makes himself, Vikings winners in second round of sectional

Huntington North High School shortstop Jamon Hammel catches a Fort Wayne South Side runner in the face with his tag during play in the second round of the Homestead Baseball Sectional Tournament on Saturday, May 30.
Photo by Scott Trauner.

Kameron Smith made himself the winning pitcher with a go-ahead two-run home run in the fourth inning as the Huntington North High School baseball team beat Fort Wayne South Side, 8-3, on Saturday, May 30, in second round action at the Homestead Baseball Sectional Tournament.

The Vikings, 15-12, will face Homestead Monday at 5 p.m. in the championship contest. The Spartans advanced with a hard-fought 5-4 win in seven innings over Marion.

Smith, a junior, relieved starting pitcher Wes Carroll in the third inning after the Archers had taken a 3-0 lead. After getting the third out of the third and pitching a scoreless fourth, Smith in the bottom of the fourth rocked one over the left field fence with pinch-runner Nelson Little on base to put the Vikings up 4-3.
While he, Billy Ray and Shaun Marion were combining for 4-1/3 innings of scoreless relief, the Vikings added three more runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to lock up the win.

Taylor Harris had three hits and scored a pair of runs for HNHS, and Brett Wiley and T.J. Bolding each had two hits. Ray added a two-run double in the Vikings' fifth, and HNHS wound up with 11 hits on the day.

Thanks to the heroics of catcher Andrew Doctor, who caught two runners stealing and picked off a third runner, Carroll and South Side Starter William Coursen-Carr matched zeroes for the first two innings. The Archers broke through for three runs in the third on a single, Carroll's third hit batter of the game and doubles by Nicholas Batuello and Coursen-Carr.

The Vikings got a pair back in their half of the frame as Bolding singled and was forced by Jamon Hammel, who came around on a single by Harris and a South Side error. Joey West then brought Harris home with a line drive off the fence in center, which went for a long single.

The Vikes gave themselves some breathing room in the fifth as Harris and Wiley singled, Wiley stole second and West walked to load the sacks. Ray plated two with his double down the left field line and Trevor West brought in the third with a single.

The final run of the game for HNHS came as Bolding singled and Hammel reached on an error before Harris again singled to load the bases. Wiley singled through the left side for the RBI.

The four Viking pitchers gave up six hits while striking out 11 batters and walking only two.