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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For Red Wing athletics, what's old is new again. As the Missota Conference continues to dissolve, Red Wing has found itself a new home in 2014-15.
CANNON FALLS - If things go awry for seventh-ranked (Class 2A) Cannon Falls, the team has a simple philosophy: flush it. When the runs were hard to come by on Monday against Lake City, the Bombers flushed it. When the Tigers' defense turned a pair of double plays, the Bombers flushed it. And when Lake City brought the score to 3-3 late in Game 2, the Bombers flushed it. "When things aren't going right, you have to flush it when you get back on the field and do what you need to do," Cannon Falls head coach Bucky Lindow said.
In a short time span, Red Wing native David Goggin has made an immediate impact on the Angelo State (Texas) baseball team. Hitting for a .351 batting average in Lone Star Conference games and .321 overall, Goggin was named the LSC's Freshman of the Year on Wednesday. Currently ranked fourth in the South Region rankings, Angelo State earned the No. 3 seed in the LSC tournament. The Rams (33-17, 17-11 LSC) started the conference tournament Friday against fourth-seeded West Texas A&M in Canyon, Texas.
Trailing 3-0 after three innings, Winona Cotter went off for six runs in the bottom half of the inning, sparking a Ramblers' offense that scored 10 straight runs in a 10-5 Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division victory Tuesday in Winona. Sam French finished 2-for-3 with three RBI, while Roger Brosnahan had two hits and two RBI for Cotter. For the Cougars, Austin Walstad and Kevin Niebuhr each went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the loss. Z-M (1-6, 1-4 HVL Blue) heads to Triton Wednesday, weather permitting.
Finally getting on the field for its first action of the 2013 season, the Ellsworth softball team started on the right foot with a Middle Border Conference sweep against Somerset Tuesday in Ellsworth. The Panthers opened with a 6-3 Game 1 victory, then held off a Somerset rally in the fifth inning to complete the sweep, 8-7. "It was nice to get out on the field," said Ellsworth head coach Ryan Casper. "This was our third day on the field. ...
Sitting in fourth place after Day 1, with over seven pounds away from the top spot, Korey Sprengel was able to make a run in Day 2 of the inaugural Cabela's National Walleye Tour event in Red Wing. And after hitting his five-fish limit for the second straight day, Sprengel closed the gap and came away with the Pro victory Saturday with a two-day weight of 26.81 pounds. "I like river fishing; I'm not an expert at it, but it feels awesome to go out there and win," said Sprengel, of Beaver Dam, Wis.
GOODHUE - Early on, Goodhue looked like it could do some damage against Hayfield and its junior pitcher, Drew Streightiff. But once he found his groove, it was Streightiff's arm that did all the damage on Monday. The Vikings' right-hander struck out 14 and held Goodhue to one run and five hits in a 6-1 Hiawatha Valley League victory at Goodhue High School. With an array of fastballs, off-speed pitches and breaking balls, every pitch in Streightiff's repertoire was working against the Wildcats. "He was dealing just about everything," said Goodhue pitcher Andy Johnson.
LAKE CITY - Despite just getting on the course on Wednesday, the Lake City girls golf team has made the most of its limited time. Winning a home triangular on Friday, the Tigers put out a balanced lineup at Saturday's eight-team home invitational and came away with another victory, beating Providence Academy by three strokes. Lake City finished with a score of 351, with Providence Academy finishing with 354. "We had practice outside on Wednesday, and then we had a meet (Friday), which helped a lot," said Tigers head coach Steve Randgaard.
HAGER CITY - With the winning run on second base in the bottom of the seventh inning, Ellsworth head baseball coach Steve Block normally would have given his No. 6 hitter Logan Armstrong the sign to bunt. Instead, Block trusted the junior's bat against the defending Division 3 champions. "The conventional wisdom is to bunt the runner over with nobody out, but (Armstrong's) a very good hitter," Block said. "Sometimes with a runner at second, I'd rather take my chances with a good hitter.
After getting roughed up by Shakopee in the season-opening match last week, Red Wing boys tennis coach Matt Kavanagh had the players write down what they did well and what they struggled with in the match. So when Noah Christenson was in a second-set tiebreaker during Wednesday's home opener against Lakeville North, he kept those jottings in his mind. "I had second serves and double faults on there for what I needed to fix," Christenson said.