North had little trouble with visiting Brush in a 20-2 win on Thursday. The Rangers then jumped out to a 5-0 lead at Brushon Friday in an attempt to sweep the season series with the Arcs.
Brush chipped away at the North lead and had runners in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh before Brian Stergar bailed out the Rangers to preserve an 8-5 win.
“This is a game that we knew we had to be ready for and the team knew they needed to show up focused and ready to take care of business,” said North coach Kyle Stahlberg. “It was nice to see them jump right out of the gate and get runs on the board early.”
North scored two runs in the top of the first on a Kenny Streb walk and singles by Charlie Finucan and Brad Burrows.
Zack Mitchell and Trent Russo then led off the second with singles. Tyler Nagorski also singled and Jake Arrison and Burrows drew walks in the three-run inning that pushed the North lead to 5-0.
Brush got one back off Streb in the second but the Rangers put two more on the board in the sixth and one in the seventh.
They needed those runs as the Arcs scored four in the bottom of the seventh and had the tying run at the plate.
Stergar relieved Ted Gavorski and pitched the final 2/3 of the inning to earn the save.
“I’m comfortable in clutch situations,” Stergar said. “It makes me want to go harder.”
Stergar got the first batter he faced to fly out to short center for the second out of the inning.
Brush scored a run on a passed ball and another on a single but Stergar got the last Arcs hitter to ground out to third.
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