New Richmond baseball has the offense to be an MBC contender
Through three games, no team has gained separation in the MBC baseball race. With four teams at 2-1 and the other four at 1-2, the MBC race is a wide open race after the first two weeks of games.
If the first three games are a true indication, the Tigers look to be one of the stronger offensive teams in the race. The Tigers have scored 19 runs in their three MBC games.
No team has separated itself from the pack through the first three rounds of Middle Border Conference baseball action, which is good news for the New Richmond Tigers.
The Tigers stand at 1-2 after three rounds of play, but their win was an 8-7 thriller over Ellsworth, one of the perennial powers of MBC.
Where the Tigers started the season with questions was in pitching. And with every game, the pitching seems to find more clarity. In the two games last week the coaches used five different pitchers. In the win over Ellsworth, senior Grant Riemenschneider took another step toward locking up one of the spots in the starting rotation. He gave the team five solid innings in the win.
Another senior who came through against Ellsworth was Eric Hedlund. He entered the game with one out in the seventh and got the final two outs.
The game was tied 7-7 heading into the bottom of the seventh and the first two Tigers were retired. The Tigers then put together a wild twoout rally. John Earley and Mikah Kier started the rally with line drive singles. Senior Jake Weiss followed suit, with his line single to right field scoring Earley with the winning run.
Weiss, Earley and Kier all finished with two hits to lead the Tigers. Weiss led the team with three RBIs.
The Tigers weren’t nearly as sharp Thursday in their 6-5 loss at Baldwin-Woodville.
“We weren’t focused that game. We were out of synch,” said Tiger coach Travis Helland.
B-W took a 4-0 lead in the first three innings. When the Tigers struck for one run in the fourth inning, the Blackhawks struck back for two in the bottom of the inning.
It wasn’t until the seventh inning that the Tigers showed some fire. With two outs, Hedlund delivered a run-scoring single. Blake Kretovics followed with a threerun homer, the Tigers’ first homer of the season. That cut the margin to 6-5, but the Tigers couldn’t get another runner on base.
Hedlund and Kier led the team with two hits, as the Tigers finished with seven hits for the game.
Helland said he remains confident that the Tigers will continue to hit. Kretovics is hitting .500 through the first six games and Kier, Hedlund and Noah Towberman are all hitting .350 or higher.
The Tigers will play four road games in the upcoming days. That begins with a game at Amery on Thursday. The Tigers will play a pair of non-conference games at Chippewa Falls on Saturday. The Tigers return to their MBC schedule next Tuesday with a game at St. Croix Central.