Tiger baseball starts season on top

Freshman Coltin Malchow pitched four innings and allowed five hits, five walks, eight runs (three earned) versus Pine City in his varsity debut. Photos by Victoria Dahlin

Freshman Coltin Malchow pitched four innings and allowed five hits, five walks, eight runs (three earned) versus Pine City in his varsity debut. Photos by Victoria Dahlin

The baseball season began for Rush City last week when the boys took three out of four games in the first part of a busy schedule in making up postponed games.

First, the Tigers won 6-3 and 4-0 in a double header against East Central. Brandon Koehnle and Eric Erdman were two for three, while Mason Ramberg and Conner Werner each went one for two at the plate with one RBI. Dalton Folkema had two RBI.

Isaiah Morris struck out nine batters, allowing five hits and six walks in five innings.

“We played fairly well considering it was the first day we had been outside on the ball field,” said coach Kevin Smith. “We only made one error and rallied from a 3-0 deficit after the second inning. Isaiah had some control problems in the first few innings, but he got stronger (with) six of his nine strikeouts in the final three innings.”

In game two, Erdman was one for one with a walk; Koehnle, one for two with a double; Nick Kost, one for one with a double; and Coltin Malchow earned an RBI with a walk.

On the mound, Erdman struck out five while allowing two hits and no walks in five innings.

Junior catcher Brandon Koehnle was two for two, with one run and three runs batted in at Onamia last Thursday.

Junior catcher Brandon Koehnle was two for two, with one run and three runs batted in at Onamia last Thursday.

“We managed only three hits,” Smith said. “But Eric kept the opposition off the bases, as he walked none and only gave up two hits. Defensively, we had two errors but did not get into trouble because of them. Overall we played a sound game even though we did not hit the ball well.”

On April 30, the team hosted Pine City and fell 11-1 in six innings due to the 10-run rule. Cole Anderson was one for three with two stolen bases, and Koehnle was one for three.

Making his pitching debut as a freshman, Malchow allowed five hits, five walks and eight runs — though three of those were earned — in four innings. In two innings of relief, Cody Dullinger walked five and allowed three hits and three runs (two earned).

“We did not hit the ball well at all the entire game,” Smith said. “We had only two singles and managed only one run on a sacrifice fly in the final at bat. We need to become more disciplined as hitters and not swing at balls out of the strike zone and learn to protect the plate with two strikes. We had four hitters take a called third strike without swinging, and this is not good. Defensively we had five errors, which put our starting pitcher in a bad position. We were happy with Coltin’s performance as he pitched for the first time as a freshman, which is a difficult assignment. He battled all game and will improve as the year progresses.”

On Thursday the Tigers traveled to Onamia and shutout the Panthers 14-0 in five mercy rule innings.

Blake Cook was one for three with a double; Koehnle, two for two with a run and three RBI; Anderson, one for three with two runs and two stolen bases; Morris, one for three with two RBI; Kost, one for two with two RBI; and Folkema, two RBI.

“The boys started hot today getting four hits and 10 runs in the top of the first inning,” Smith noted. “There were several walks and three hit batsman in addition to the hits. Coltin had a sacrifice fly, and Brandon had a big, two out two-RBI single. Isaiah threw strikes all game and ended with 12 strikeouts.

The Rush City baseball team is 3-1 in the Great River Conference and overall.

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