Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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CANNON FALLS - Offense is hard to come by for Cannon Falls this season. The Bombers had scored a total of nine runs in six games, including four shutouts, heading into Thursday's matchup with Pine Island. It didn't get any better against the Panthers. Cannon Falls filled the bases in the fourth inning and the seventh inning but could only push across a solitary run in a 2-1 defeat. "We worked as hard this spring as we ever have," Bombers' head coach Mike Gunderson said. "We just haven't been able to take it on the field.
Ryan Boldt's senior season is over almost before it began. The Red Wing High School senior injured his right knee during the first game of the season but received a positive prognosis of a bone bruise that also included the possibility of a slight tear of the lateral meniscus. However, Boldt did not exhibit any other symptoms associated with a tear, no bleeding in the knee or swelling. Having already scheduled a doctor's visit for Monday morning at the TRIA Orthopaedic Center in Bloomington, Minn., the decision was made to undergo arthroscopic surgery.
Red Wing is a work-in-progress. The Wingers lost an entire team's worth of seniors from last year's Class 3A state team and the terrible spring weather further stunted the cohesiveness of this year's team. Not to mention critical injuries to two of their top players. That adversity is showing in the ebb and flow of energy and intensity from Red Wing's bench.
The Red Wing Aces made the Class B Amateur state tournament last season for the first time since 2006. With their deepest pitching staff in years, the Aces should see little drop-off, co-manager Andy Gibart said. "I think we will have a leg up this year because of our pitching," he said. "This is probably our deepest pitching staff. That's going to be our focus this year. We're hopefully going to be dominant." Red Wing's pitching staff had a combined E.R.A of 3.51. Aaron Johnson was a definitive top starter for the Aces last season, going 7-4 in 104 2/3 innings with three saves.
World champion skier and Olympic hopeful Jessie Diggins spoke at the Red Wing Nordic Club's end of season banquet Sunday at the Mayo Health Professional Building in Red Wing. Diggins, a member of the U.S. Nordic Skiing Team, along with racing partner Kikkan Randall secured the United States' first-ever gold medal in a team event at the World Cup Dec. 7 in Quebec, Canada. Red Wing Nordic Club coach David Asp contacted Diggins to come speak and Diggins happily accepted. She gave a presentation, signed posters and talked about life as a professional skier.
The Red Wing Athletic Field was a very friendly confine for Red Wing last season. The Wingers went undefeated at home with three walk-off wins. But in its first series at home this season, Red Wing was outplayed by Holy Angels in a 4-2, 5-0 sweep, and also lost another key player. Ty Buck, who pitched five impressive innings for the Wingers in Game 1, was hit in the mouth with a pitch during the fifth inning of Game 2. The ball opened up a gash below Buck's lower left lip and inside his mouth, causing a significant amount of bleeding. He left the game and received stitches.
The scouts, fans and players held their breath waiting for Red Wing's Ryan Boldt to stand up Friday in Rochester. Boldt, the No. 13-ranked draft prospect according to ESPN senior baseball analyst Keith Law, fell to the ground clutching his right knee after chasing a fly ball Friday against Farmington. It was an unsettling moment for the Wingers and their star player. But after getting an MRI on Saturday and meeting with an orthopedist on Monday, everyone can let go a sigh of relief.
ZUMBROTA - Zumbrota-Mazeppa is a power-hitting team. Exhibit A: Three home runs in the second inning. Exhibit B: A game-changing grand slam by No. 9-hitter Rachel Mensink in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Cougars scored nine of their 11 runs via the home run Monday in an 11-6 victory against Winona Cotter. "It's kind of nice when your No.
ZUMBROTA - The first inning gave Zumbrota-Mazeppa and Cannon Falls fits Saturday as the two teams split a Hiawatha Valley Blue Division doubleheader. In Game 1, the Bombers scored four runs in the first inning and the Cougars responded with four runs of their own on three hits and three walks before an out was recorded in the bottom half of the first.
ROCHESTER - Red Wing captured two wins Friday night in Rochester, but not without suffering a major loss. Red Wing senior Ryan Boldt, a top national prospect, took his first two steps toward a fly ball in the third inning of Game 2 and fell to the ground, clutching his right knee. He laid on the ground for a few minutes before being helped off the field and didn't return to the game, as fans and more than a dozen scouts watched intently. Boldt said he tweaked the knee in Game 1 while sliding into third base and had to pop something into place on the outside of his right knee.