Middle Border Conference leaders slow down New Richmond baseball teamThe roll the New Richmond baseball team has been riding was brought to an end by one of the top-ranked teams in the state last Friday.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The roll the New Richmond baseball team has been riding was brought to an end by one of the top-ranked teams in the state last Friday.
The Tigers won four straight games before taking on Middle Border Conference leader Prescott last Friday. Prescott is ranked third in the state in Division 3 and Friday’s 14-4 win raised the Cardinals overall record to 14-1. Prescott leads the MBC with a 10-0 record. Friday’s loss leaves the Tigers in third place in the standings with a 6-4 record.
It was a positive start for the Tigers at Prescott. They scored twice in the first inning. The Tigers put together five hits in the opening inning, including an RBI double from Kaleb Kier and a run-scoring single from Andy Kittel.
Prescott came right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Tiger starter Nate Jones was able to work out of a bases-loaded situation without giving up more runs.
Jones has pitched well for the Tigers this season, but he couldn’t get out of a second inning jam. Four hits, two walks and an error led to five Prescott runs in the second inning.
Justin Johnson came on in relief and pitched well, holding Prescott scoreless until the sixth inning.
The Tigers cut the margin to 7-4 by scoring two runs in the fifth inning. Jones led off with a walk and Drew Durham doubled. They both came around to score, but the Tigers stranded two more runners on base.
Prescott put an end to the game by scoring seven runs against Johnson and Zac Parfitt in the sixth inning.
Kier and Josh Kizer led the Tigers with two hits each in the loss.
Last Tuesday the Tigers needed a late rally to avoid giving Durand its first win of the season. The Tigers trailed 1-0 until they rallied in the final two innings to top the Panthers 7-1. Three days later Durand did get its first win, succeeding at Baldwin-Woodville 6-2 on Friday.
Tiger coach Chad Fehrman said the team wasn’t using its best hitting plan early in this game.
“During the first five innings, the guys just didn’t have a good approach at the plate. We didn’t make the Durand pitcher work for outs,” he said.
Johnson was the starting pitcher and he received a no decision because of the slow offensive start. Johnson pitched into the fifth inning, allowing one hit. Durand scored its run in the fourth inning on a single, an error and a sacrifice. Durham pitched 2.2 innings of hitless relief to get the win.
“Without these pitching efforts, the sixth inning may have been a bit late to start scoring,” Fehrman said.
The Tigers finally broke through with six runs in the sixth inning. A double by Kittel started the charge, the first of eight Tiger hits in the inning. A two-run double by Max Skatrud capped the rally. The Tigers added another run in the seventh inning.
Dalton Sabby led the Tiger offense. Sabby has shaken off an early slump to be one of the team’s hottest hitters the past two weeks. Sabby went 3-4 against Durand, with two stolen bases and two runs scored. Four other Tigers had two hits in the game.
The Tigers will face another of the MBC leaders this Friday when they play at Ellsworth. The Tigers will also be on the road next Monday when they travel to Amery.