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Norway rolls in doubleheader sweep of IM



Norway’s Cameron Varda (26) rounds third base and heads for home against Iron Mountain on Friday at Mike Maule Field. (Sean Chase/Daily News photo)

NORWAY — It was senior day at Mike Maule Field on Friday and the Norway varsity baseball team lived up to the challenge against Iron Mountain.

The Knights sent off their three seniors, Ian Popp, Alex Ortman and Hayden Amundson, with a doubleheader sweep over the Mountaineers, winning 8-0 and 10-0.

“Senior Day is always emotional and we handled it pretty well,” Norway head coach Tony Adams said. “Hayden (Amundson), Alex (Ortman) and Ian (Popp) have been a big part of our program for four years. We wish Iron Mountain the best of luck in districts.”

The Knights are now 19-2-1 on the season while Iron Mountain falls to 2-13-1.

Game One

Iron Mountain junior Ian Martilla (9) delivers a pitch against Norway on Friday at Mike Maule Field. (Sean Chase/Daily News photo)

Owen Baij was back on the mound for Norway to start the day. He was in control from the get-go as he struck out 10 batters in six innings. He surrendered three hits, no walks and no runs.

“Owen Baij pounded the strike zone with a good mix all game long,” coach Adams said. “83-percent strikes is impressive.”

However, the Knight’s offense also came to play. They started the bottom first inning with a two run showing on a two-RBI double from Cole Baij.

Owen Baij singled in the second to put Norway ahead 3-0.

Iron Mountain continued to struggle against Owen Baij in the top of the third and AJ Gallino drew a walk for the Knights later in the frame to put them ahead 4-0.

Norway shortstop Cole Baij (3) loads up to swing at a pitch against Iron Mountain. (Sean Chase/Daily News photo)

In the fourth, Norway blew the game wide open. It started with an Iron Mountain error that put Cameron Varda on first.

Owen Baij singled to bring him home and then he came around on a sacrifice bunt from Landon Amundson. Ortman would score on a wild pitch and the lead was up to seven for the Knights.

Varda singled again in the bottom of the fifth to give Norway an 8-0 advantage.

Cole Baij and Owen Baij each tallied two RBIs for the Knights. Owen Baij was 3 for 3 at the dish. Varda and Landon Amundson each recorded one RBI. Ortman and Cole Baij led the way with one walk apiece. Varda had four stolen bases, Bryce Adams had two while Ortman and Cole Baij each had one.

“We were steady on offense but need to get better at some different situations,” coach Adams said.

Ian Marttila was tagged with the loss for the Mountaineers. He struck out three in three innings while surrendering seven hits.

Niko Burgoon led the Iron Mountain offense with two hits and two stolen bases. Evan Mendini also recorded one hit.

Game Two

The Knights’ offense didn’t miss a step as game two got underway.

After working out of a bases loaded situation, Norway opened the bottom of the first with a single from Varda. Then Owen Baij, Landon Amundson and Ortamn each drew a walk to score the Knights’ first run of the game. When the dust settled on the inning, the lead was up to 5-0.

Varda retired the Mountaineers in order on strikeouts in the second, bringing Norway back to the plate.

The Knights added five more runs to their total in the second. Varda, Owen Baij, Ortman and Cole Baij each recorded an RBI in the frame.

Iron Mountain slowed the Norway offense down in the final two innings, but the Mountaineers couldn’t score any runs of their own and they lost 10-0.

“I was happy with the focus in game two,” coach Adams said.

Varda picked up the win for the Knights on the hill. He struck out six in two innings of work while surrendering two hits and one walk.

Carter Cazzola closed things out for Norway. He struck out one in two innings.

“(I was) glad to see Carter Cazzola pitch in his first game this year,” coach Adams said. (It’s) very important for us in the future to have pitchers.”

Ortman and Cole Baij led the Knights with two RBIs apiece. Varda, Owen Baij, Adams and Maddex Burklund each had one RBI.

Varda, Owen Baij, Landon Amundson, Ortman, Cole Baij and Cazzola all drew one walk.

Joey Wahoviak was tagged with the loss for Iron Mountain. Max White and Gerald Sampoll-Torres also took the mound. Sampoll-Torres recorded one strikeout. Wahoviak led the Mountaineers with a 2-for-2 day at the plate. Burgoon also recorded a hit. White and Adam Krackenberger each drew a walk.

Norway is back in action on Tuesday as it heads to Felch Township for the final Skyline Central Conference doubleheader of the season against North Dickinson. The Mountaineers are at LIUNA Field today against Calumet.

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