Baseball: Holy Angels rocks Wingers in twin bill
Even as they tallied 14 hits over the course of two games, Red Wing’s offensive woes continue.
Hosting Academy of Holy Angels for a Missota Conference doubleheader on Monday, the Wingers were able to get runners around the diamond. The problem came when the team needed to get its players home as Red Wing stranded a total of 17 batters across the pair of games, allowing the visiting Stars to get the sweep: 3-1 in Game 1 and 6-1 in Game 2.
“It’s funny that things like (generating offense) can multiply in a positive way or a negative way. Right now, we’re just on the wrong side of it,” said Wingers head coach Paul Hartmann. “I saw some good things in the dugout and we had good energy. But I’m certainly not satisfied with the scoreboard and I know our guys aren’t either.”
Throughout the doubleheader, Red Wing had ample opportunities to take the momentum, but was just unable to come up with the clutch play. That was never more apparent than in Game 2 where in the first, third and fifth innings, the Wingers loaded the bases but were unable to score a run. In the fifth, Red Wing had the bases loaded with no outs, but was quickly disposed of after a strikeout and a 6-4-3 double play.
“It’s obviously frustrating,” Hartmann said about the team’s inability to get runs with bases loaded. “We had a couple good at-bats in those situations and (Holy Angels) made some good plays. You have to credit their defense. A couple times, we got ourselves out by taking called third strikes.”
In Game 1, it was one big inning by the Stars that put the game firmly in their control. After Red Wing starting pitcher Ty Buck struck out the first batter, Holy Angels’ hitters started catching up to the hard-throwing righty, getting four straight players on base. Jack Piram and Dan Strittmater hit back-to-back RBI singles, and Jared Thorp had a sacrifice bunt that brought home another run.
The Wingers’ lone run came in the sixth on an RBI single by pinch hitter Corey Hawe, and the team looked ready for a rally with Tait Kelly on third and Hawe on second with two outs. But Holy Angels pitcher John Spanier worked out of the jam and struck out Zach Collins to end the threat.
“Both games, we put ourselves in a good position,” Hartmann said. “It’s just a matter of coming up with the key hit. Those are contagious. All it’s going to take is for one guy to come through and the other guys are going to start to follow.”
In the night cap, the Stars jumped on Red Wing starter Sam Palmatier early with a three-run first inning, highlighted by a two-run single by Strittmater.
The Wingers cut the gap to two following an opposite-field single by Buck that drove home Jakob Meyer in the top of the third, but that would be the only run Red Wing got home the rest of the way. All the while, Holy Angels scored a run in the fifth and a pair of scores in the sixth. The Stars finished Game 2 with 12 hits, including 10 off Palmatier.
Buck went 2-for-4 with a double in Game 2, and struck out seven, walked three and allowed six hits and three runs in six innings in Game 1. Right fielder/catcher Thate Peterson went 4-for-6 in the doubleheader, and Dixon Irwin collected a pair of hits in Game 1.
For a team continuing to deal with growing pains, Hartmann believes a short memory may be the best thing for the Wingers. This week, Red Wing (2-7, 2-6 Missota) heads to Chanhassen on Tuesday and Shakopee on Thursday before returning home Saturday against Chaska.
“I love the Red Wing Athletic Field but we’ve been here a few weeks and it’s time to change the scenery a little bit,” Hartmann said. “We get a night game in Chanhassen and hopefully we can change our luck and play well tomorrow night.”
Mahtomedi 8, Red Wing 0
Red Wing could not find a way to crack the bat on Mahtomedi ace Mike Baumann.
The senior Baumann, who is signed to play at Division I Jacksonville, struck out 11 while holding the Wingers to one hit over six innings in the Zephyrs’ 8-0 victory Saturday at the Red Wing Athletic Field.
Mahtomedi managed to give its star pitcher plenty of cushion as the team put up four runs in the top of the fourth inning. Colin Baumgard, Baumann, Jackson Hull and Thomas Hennen all reached home in the frame. The Zephyrs went on to score a pair of runs in the fifth and seventh innings.
With Baumann dealing on the mound, it wouldn’t be until the bottom of the fifth when Jakob Meyer, the Wingers’ No. 9 hitter, belted a two-out double to finally get the team’s first hit. Jacob Duden got a single in the bottom of the seventh, but the two hits were the only offense Red Wing could put together in the defeat.
Tait Kelly was charged with the loss after allowing three hits, four walks and four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.