The Rush City baseball team came out ahead in two of its last five games played in a very full schedule.
The Tigers hosted Ogilvie May 9 and split a double header losing 8-5 before winning 11-9.
After falling behind in the first game 4-0, the Tigers came back with a double, three walks and one batter hit by pitch to tie the score 4-4 after one complete inning of play.
The team then left 13 men on base three times, leaving the bases loaded and came up short 8-5.
“Eric (Erdman) had some control problems hitting four batters and throwing three wild pitches in his seven innings,” said coach Kevin Smith. “His teammates managed only five more hits after the first, but could not get a hit with runners in scoring position despite many opportunities.”
Cole Anderson had one run and two stolen bases, while Coltin Malchow had two runs, one triple and one RBI.
Isaiah Morris had one run, one stolen base and had one RBI, while Brett Koehnle and Nick Kost each had one RBI.
In the second game, Malchow picked up his first varsity win in the five inning night game. He had seven strikeouts and four walks giving up only six hits and one earned run of the nine runs scored by Ogilvie.
“We made six errors and it nearly cost us the win,” said Smith. “We must get better on defense and support our pitchers by making the routine plays when they come about. The Tigers came out ready to play and took advantage of two walks and one hit pitch in the first inning, along with an error and two hits, they scored five and never trailed in the game.”
“Isaiah had a big two RBI double in the first and both Brett and Conner Werner had RBIs too. Coltin had another two RBI double in the fourth and Brandon (Koehnle) had a two RBI hit in the fifth.”
Anderson had three runs, Dalton Folkema had two runs, Brandon Koehnle had two runs and two RBI, Malchow had two RBI, Morris had three RBI and Werner had one stolen base, as well as one RBI.
Tigers vs. Aitkin
On May 10 Aitkin came to town and trounced the Tigers 17-5 in six innings.
“Today we played very poor defense committing nine errors in the game,” said Smith. “It is nearly impossible to win when you give an opponent three extra innings of outs due to errors. Also, the team managed only two hits, though we had 15 runners left on base due to 11 walks and four hit pitches given to us by the other teams pitching staff.”
Tigers vs. Hinckley-Finlayson
In another split double header scheduled as five inning games, the Tigers hosted Hinckley-Finlayson and fell 6-4, before defeating the Jaguars 7-4.
“The team did not play well in the first game, either defensively or offensively,” said Smith. “We made six errors and managed only two hits against a very strong team. The Jaguars are rated in the top 10 best teams in some polls.”
In the second game, the Tigers were aided by four walks and three hit batters as well as some errors by Hinckley-Finlayson.
“Our offense erupted in the final at bat,” said Smith. “Scoring all eight runs in the top of the fifth inning, as we were the visitors in the second game. We had five hits in the inning and sent 14 batters to the plate. Mason Ramberg had two hits in the inning which came at crucial times. Brandon and Coltin also added key hits.
“Eric pitched great, using his off speed stuff to keep us close for the four innings prior. He then gave a up a lead off double in the fifth, but retired the next three batters in a row for the amazing come from behind win.
“I have coached for over 30 years and I have never seen such a turn around in a game. We had nothing going for the first four innings and then just exploded in the fifth. This is a real credit to our boys for not throwing in the towel after losing the first game by a wide margin. We are really proud of the effort and hope it lifts the confidence of the boys for the remaining three games,” Smith added.
The Rush City baseball team is fourth in the Great River Conference with a 7-4 conference and overall record.