By Victoria Dahlin
Before losing 8-2 to Pine City last week the Rush City baseball team earned its second conference win in a big way, shutting out East Central 13-0 in five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
The Tigers hosted the Eagles with freshman Eric Erdman starting his first varsity game. He pitched the entire game, giving up only two singles, three walks and struck out five to earn the win.
Justin Marty was three for four hitting with one double, two stolen bases, two runs and four RBIs. Isiah Morris was two for four with one double and two RBIs, while Brandon Koehnle was one for two with two stolen bases, a single and one hit by a pitch. Dalton Folkema was one for three with two runs, two stolen bases and one RBI. Cole Anderson was one for one with a double and an RBI.
“Justin Marty and Eric Erdman had very good games for us today,” said Coach Kevin Smith. “As a team we played error-less baseball for the first time this year and it made everyone’s job so much easier. Justin had a great day at the plate, just what you want to see in the lead-off position of the batting order. Eric was only in trouble in the first inning as he walked a batter and allowed soft singles to the next two hitters. But, a line drive catch doubled up a runner, and we escaped the inning with no runs scored. We came right back in our half of the first to put two on the board and the team controlled the game from there.”
Last Thursday the Tigers traveled to Pine City where the Dragons took control of the mementum of the game and sent the Tigers home with 8-2 loss.
Morris pitched the first four innings and took the loss, while Erdman pitched 2/3 inning. Ben Nelson pitched for the first time, doing very well, as he faced six batters in 1 1/3 innings allowed no hits, struck out two , walked one and hit one batter.
“Today our defense was very poor, allowing eight errors and we only managed one hit, a sharp RBI single by Isiah in the top of the sixth inning,” said Coach Smith. “Our pitchers struggled to find the strike zone today as we walked 10 batters. Combining the walks with all the errors, usually means easy runs for the opponent, and that was the case, as only three of the runs were earned runs for Pine City. We will need to get our bats going again. We struck out eight times in seven innings today which is not going to help score runs for our pitchers. We are scheduled to play four games next week , so the team needs to sharpen up on both offense and defense and try to get some important wins which will help for playoff seeding.”
The Rush City baseball team has a 2-7 Great River Conference and overall record. The team will travel to Hinckley-Finlayson High School to face the Jaguars at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 10 before hosting the Moose Lake-Willow River Rebels at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 11. The Tigers will then travel to Ogilvie to face the Lions at 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 14 and host the Barnum Bombers at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.