ALTA - After taking a 4-0 lead, North Union couldn't hold off Alta-Aurelia as the hosts rattled off five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and held on for the 5-4 win in Class 1A District 3 Baseball on Thursday.
North Union starter Corey Vaske ran into trouble after a leadoff single by No. 9 batter Trenton Delp and then walking the first two batters at the top of the order. A single by Josh McCormick scored on one run and Jayden VanBerkum's double brought in two more. McCormick scored the tying run when Jordan Wendel grounded out to first base. A single by Mitchell Fritz gave Alta-Aurelia its first lead of the night.
North Union's best chance to tie the game came in the seventh inning after Spencer Ricke drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a wild pitch and to third on a sacrifice bunt by Vaske. But Ricke couldn't score when Alex Krantz grounded out to the shortstop. Park Oleson drew a walk, but Riley Bauer popped up to third base to end the game.
North Union built its lead with a run each in the second and third innings and two in the fourth. Krantz led off the second inning with a double and went to third on the sacrifice by Hellman. A single by Carter Engelby brought him home.
In the third inning, Colin Runksmeier led off with a single and Ricke reached on a bunt. After a sacrifice bunt by Vaske, Runksmeier scored when Krantz grounded out to second.
In the fourth inning, Braden Ortman drew a one-out walk. With two outs, Cody Runksmeier also drew a walk and the runners moved to second and third on a wild pitch. A double by Colin Runksmeier brought both two runs home.
Vaske took the loss as he went 4 1/3 innings giving up five earned runs on eight hits with one strikeout and four walks. Krantz pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up one hit and one walk.
Bryce Radke went the distance for Alta-Aurelia giving up four earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and five walks.
For North Union, Colin Runksmeier was 3-4 with two RBIs and Ortman was 1-2. Engelby was 1-3 with an RBI while Cody Runskmeier and Ricke also were 1-3 and Krantz was 1-4 with an RBI.
Seniors playing their final game were Cody Runksmeier, Carter Engelby and Spencer Ricke.
The Warriors wrap up a 12-17 season while Alta-Aurelia (18-11) will travel to Algona to take on Bishop Garrigan (20-16) in the district title game at 7 p.m., tonight (Saturday). Garrigan advanced to the district title game with a 6-4 win over West Bend-Mallard on Thursday.