New Richmond baseball wants to stand with top Middle Border Conference teamsThe 17-5 win by the New Richmond baseball team over Durand last week is a start. But it is just the first step in the improvement the Tigers are looking to make this season.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The 17-5 win by the New Richmond baseball team over Durand last week is a start. But it is just the first step in the improvement the Tigers are looking to make this season.
The win was followed up by losses to Menomonie and Prescott, leaving the Tigers with a 1-4 record after the first two full weeks of the regular season.
The win over Durand was proof for the Tigers that they can put together some big innings. They opened the game with two runs in the first inning. The rest of the scoring came in two major bursts. The Tigers scored seven runs in the second inning and eight runs in the fourth inning.
The coaching staff has been looking for big hits from the team and that started right away. In the second inning Nate Jones ripped an RBI-triple, Andy Kittel a two-run double and Max Skatrud a two-run triple.
“They got a sniff of what it was like to score some runs,” said Tiger coach Chad Fehrman.
The onslaught continued in the fourth inning, which was capped by two-run doubles from Skatrud and Tate Ziebol.
Skatrud and Jones both had 3-3 days at the plate. The Tigers had 10 hits in the game, but six of them went for extra bases.
The Tigers also took eight walks in the game, led by Josh Kizer with three. He scored twice. Fehrman said Kizer has impressed the coaches with his approach at the plate.
“He’s patient and he’s composed. He’s been a pleasant surprise,” Fehrman said.
Justin Johnson got the pitching win against Durand, working the first 3.1 innings. Kyle Shilts worked the final 1.2 innings.
New Richmond outhit Menomonie 5-3 in Thursday’s game, but little mistakes bit the Tigers in the 3-0 loss. Menomonie scored two runs in the second inning without a hit.
“Walks and errors will kill you,” Fehrman said.
Jones led the Tigers with two hits at Menomonie. He also got the pitching start, working the first two innings. Johnson and Ryan Keehr pitched in relief.
The Tigers knew Friday’s game would be a challenge against a Prescott team that returned nearly its entire lineup from last season. The game was played in cold, damp conditions with a howling wind.
Prescott got three runs in the first inning on a mistake that Fehrman blamed on himself. With two outs, starting pitcher Drew Durham recorded a strikeout. Catcher Geoff Peck went to throw the ball to first base, but Fehrman instructed him not to, thinking he had caught the ball cleanly. The home plate umpire said the ball hit the dirt, so when the ball wasn’t thrown to first, the runner was awarded the base. The next two Prescott runners delivered hits and the Cards had a gift 3-0 lead.
Prescott put the game out of reach with four runs in the second inning.
The Tigers didn’t score until the fourth inning, when Shilts’ two-run single cut the Prescott lead to 8-2. Prescott finished the game with three runs in the sixth inning and three more in the seventh.
The Tigers were limited to six hits in the game by Prescott’s Mike Lytle and Billy Brookshaw. Tiger pitchers gave up 12 hits and seven walks.
Fehrman said the Tigers need to learn from the problems they are having so they can be more competitive in the second half of the Middle Border Conference season.
“The inexperience does show from time to time,” Fehrman said. “We’re young. We’ll have some setbacks.”
The Tigers face another of the MBC’s leading contenders this Thursday when Ellsworth comes to New Richmond. The Tigers will also play at home next Tuesday, when Amery’s squad visits.