GOODHUE – Scoring 13 runs over the past two games, Goodhue’s offense appeared to be on a roll. Then with a monster pitching performance from Alex Roosen, the Wildcats’ bats came to a screeching halt.
Playing a Hiawatha Valley League doubleheader Monday in Goodhue, Roosen threw a gem for Kenyon-Wanamingo by striking out 16 and holding the Wildcats to one hit and one walk in a 9-0 Game 1 victory. The Knights’ momentum carried over in Game 2 with a 10-0 five-inning victory.
“Our last couple games we put a bunch of runs on the board, and in Game 1, we ran into one of the best pitchers in our conference,” said Goodhue head coach Eric Schofield. “(Roosen’s) always tough to hit. We’ve seen him a bunch of times and he’s very talented.”
The Wildcats’ lone Game 1 hit came from Riley Augustine, who also took the loss after allowing seven hits and five runs (three earned) in six innings of work.
For Roosen, it was simply a matter of overpowering Goodhue’s batters.
“I was mixing up my four-seam fastball, which is pretty much straight, and my two-seam fastball that kind of cuts in,” Roosen said. “I mixed in my curveball, too, but it was mainly those two fastballs I was throwing.”
Schofield added, “(Roosen) throws a lot harder than anyone we’re going to see this year. He’s touching in the 80s pretty easily. He’s got a real good curveball to mix in with it and throws that curveball for strikes. … You’re not sure what’s coming and he’s hard to pick up the spin on his pitches.”
K-W’s bats found success early, with Blake Jacobson going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs, Roosen driving in a pair of runs and Connor Sviggum reaching home two times in the Game 1 victory.
While a new pitcher – Jacobson – took the hill for the Knights in Game 2, Goodhue still had trouble catching up to K-W’s pitching. In the night cap, the Wildcats got two hits, from Nathan Altendorf and Augustine, and had just four players reach base.
“In Game 2, I think we had just a little bit of a hangover from Game 1,” Schofield said. “We were being down on ourselves for not getting the hits in the first game.”
Meanwhile, Roosen cracked a solo home run in his first at-bat in Game 2, sparking a seven-run first inning for the Knights. Making matters difficult for Goodhue was having three of the team’s five errors occur in the opening frame.
Facing Wildcats freshman pitcher Taylor Buck in Game 2, K-W finished with eight hits, including three for extra bases.
“We started the year kind of shaky as far as hitting. Now we’re starting to pick up speed,” Roosen said. “Especially coming into playoffs here, that’s very important to try and get on a roll.”
Goodhue has five more games this week, starting with a home game against No. 4 (Class 2A) Kasson-Mantorville on Tuesday, followed by doubleheaders with No. 17 (2A) Cannon Falls on Wednesday and Triton on Friday.
“This is one of those days where you take it, forget about it, then move onto tomorrow and hopefully come out better,” Schofield said.