Baseball: No. 7-ranked Eagles get win No. 8
NEW YORK MILLS -- The biggest story of the spring season to this point is the New York Mills baseball team. The No. 7-1A Eagles improved to 8-0 with a 13-3 thumping of Class 2A Wadena-Deer Creek Tuesday afternoon.
The win was the fourth of eight to be decided by the 10-run mercy rule. The Eagles have had little mercy for their opponents nearing today's game in Hancock, the official midway point of the regular season.
Wadena-Deer Creek (3-4) staked a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Clean-up hitter Jake Krause knocked in Ryan Redfield in a string of three straight singles off Eagles' starter Adam Snelgrove. Jake Rude scored on an error at first base.
The Eagles answered with a run in the bottom half of one, when Shane Novak led off with a single, was sacrificed to second base by a nice Adam Patron bunt, reached third on a past ball and scored on a base hit by Maison Roberts.
That was the end of the small ball for NY Mills.
Sam Slieter singled in Adam Snelgrove to tie the game in the second.
In the third, Rude and Krause hit back-to-back doubles to score the Wolverines' final run of the game.
The Eagles put the game away in their half of the third inning chasing WDC's starter Redfield from the game.
Redfield took the loss allowing 10 hits and 10 runs, all earned, in 2 2/3 innings. He fanned one and walked three.
Brandon Kupfer, Roberts, Tyler Patron and Nick LeTourneau, running for Snelgrove, scored twice in the third.
LeTourneau was an important substitution. He scored three times in the game to lead the Eagles.
The Eagles scored 11 runs in the third inning, which is an amazing feat. But for more magic, seven of those runs were scored with two outs.
"All year," said second baseman Tyler Patron. "Two outs, that's our golden ticket right there."
Patron had four RBI; Slieter and Kupfer added three runs batted in.
The game marks two in a row where NY Mills has suffered a slow start and an opening innings deficit, but when the game pressure begins to mount the Eagles explode.
"More pressure on us the better we are," said Patron.
The core of this team has seen success for some time, going back to summer Babe Ruth state appearances and last season's berth in the state high school baseball playoffs.
The Eagles know how to win and it is showing on the field.
Senior Snelgrove had little trouble after the first inning.
The final five batters in the Wolverine order, plus leadoff hitter David Najjar, combined to go 0-13 against Snelgrove -- five innings, three runs allowed, two earned, six strikeouts, no walks.
Rude and Krause had two hits for WDC. Redfield had the other.
Bigger games and more competition are on the way in May for NY Mills.
"We haven't seen Frazee (9-2) and Sebeka (4-5) yet and they're going to be tough," Patron said.
Frazee's two losses have come at the hands of Ottertail Central (8-3) and Perham (7-3), both losses coming by double-digit run differentials.
Between the big games between Sebeka and Frazee in May, the Pillager Huskies will appear on the schedule for a double-dip in NY Mills on the 15th.
The Huskies are 4-4 overall, but join the Eagles (6-0) atop the Park Region Conference standings, undefeated at 4-0.
A sweep on that particular Tuesday could lock up the conference title early for the Eagles.
Sebeka sits in third place at 3-2.
NY Mills continues play today, Friday, May 4, at Hancock (3-5). First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Wadena-Deer Creek at New York Mills, Thursday, May 3.
WDC 201 00 - 3 5 2
NYM 11(11) 0x - 13 14 2
AB R H Bi
Najjar 3 0 0 0
Redfield 3 1 1 0
Rude 3 2 2 0
Krause 2 0 2 2
Laughlin 2 0 0 0
Goeden 2 0 0 0
Sakry 2 0 0 0
Zeise 2 0 0 0
Berg 2 0 0 0
Totals 21 3 5 2
New York Mills
AB R H Bi
Novak 4 2 3 0
A. Patron 3 1 1 0
x-LeTourneau 1 3 0 0
Kupfer 2 2 1 3
Roberts 1 2 1 1
T. Patron 3 2 2 4
Snelgrove 3 0 3 1
Kraft 1 0 1 0
Vorderbrugge 3 0 0 0
Slieter 3 1 2 3
Totals 24 13 14 12
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): WDC - Redfield (LP) 2.2-10-10-10-3-1; Najjar 1.1-4-3-1-1-2...NYM: Snelgrove (WP) 5-5-3-2-0-6.