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Baseball: Miscues haunt Red Wing

Red Wing pitcher Tait Kelly stretches out for a pitch during Friday’s game with Northfield at the Red Wing Athletic Field. Kelly went 5 2/3 innings in the Wingers’ 5-2 loss. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)1 / 2
Red Wing outfielder Jakob Meyer comes up with a catch for an out during Friday's game against Northfield at the Red Wing Athletic Field. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)2 / 2
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Baseball: Miscues haunt Red Wing
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With both teams scrambling to get a game in, Red Wing and Northfield met on short notice for the third time this season. The visiting Raiders came ready to play while the host Wingers struggled mightily. 

Capitalizing on five Red Wing errors, as well as some Winger base running gaffes, Northfield emerged victorious with a 5-2 win at the Red Wing Athletic Field. 

After the game, Red Wing head coach Paul Hartmann wanted to focus on the positives – namely the solid pitching performance from sophomore Tait Kelly – but the miscues continue to weigh down the Wingers, who are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.

“We had times today where I think we didn’t compete, whether it was some base running errors or some defensive miscues,” Hartmann said.

A misplayed pop fly to start the second inning cost Red Wing a run two batters later as the Raiders’ Samuel Stuckmeyer brought Mitchell Bornhauser home with a double. Showing some fight in the bottom of the third, Corey Hawe led the Wingers off with a single and came back home to tie the game after a two-out RBI single from Dixon Irwin. 

Bad fortune bit Red Wing again in the fourth as Bornhauser scored on an infield error. And just as the Wingers looked like they would tie the game up in the bottom half of the inning, a two-out infield single by Jakob Meyer proved fruitless when teammate Ryan Jonas was thrown out at home, keeping the score at 2-1.

“When we get down, there’s where our problems start,” said Hawe, who finished the game 2-for-2 with a run scored. “We need to keep our heads up and move on to the next play.”

Another pair of errors in the sixth helped the Raiders make it a 4-1 lead as Joseph Eckhoff and Caleb Malek each crossed the plate. Then in the seventh, a two-out single to right field by Eckhoff brought home Stuckmeyer to make it a 5-1 edge. 

Backed up against a wall, Red Wing’s bottom of the order put a scare into Northfield late into the game.

With a leadoff walk by Cam Voigt and back-to-back singles by Gunnar Tubbs and Hawe, the Wingers had the bases loaded with one out. 

“We were being a little more aggressive (at the plate),” Hawe said of the team’s late rally.

Meyer hit a two-out RBI single to score pinch runner Cody Leitner, keeping the bases loaded for the No. 2 hitter Irwin. Irwin cracked a hard grounder to the second baseman, ending Red Wing’s hopes for a comeback. 

“Once again, we gave ourselves a chance at the end, but you never know which run is ultimately going to win or lose the game for you,” Hartmann said. “If we tighten some things up in the middle innings, that 5-2 game in the seventh becomes a 3-2 or 4-2 game in the seventh and we get a better opportunity for ourselves.”

Kelly threw 5 2/3 innings with a strikeout with four runs allowed (one earned) while allowing six hits and three walks. Meyer went 2-for-4 with an RBI. For the Raiders, Colin Shepley got the win after going 6 1/3 innings with three strikeouts and seven hits allowed. Bornhauser and Carson Canedy each had two hits for Northfield.

Red Wing (2-10) has a quick turnaround as the Wingers look to end their slump against Missota Conference foe Chaska. Game time is set for noon at the Ath. 

“We just need to get a win,” Hawe said. “Just forget about this game and go into the next one.”

Joe Brown
Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.
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