Buzz drops Blues twice
Moorhead Blues won't be lacking experience this summer as the American Legion baseball team has 13 players returning from last summer's team.
Included in that group are 11 players who are high school senior-year age or older.
"That's a lot of leadership," said Blues coach Jeff Miller, who is starting his fourth season.
The Blues opened their season Tuesday against the Perham Buzz at Matson Field. The Buzz won both games, edging the Blues 2-1 in the first game before rallying for a 5-4 victory (eight innings) in the second game.
"We've got a lot of experience, a lot of guys coming back for their second and third years," Blues pitcher/outfielder Scott Petry said. "And the new guys are great, too. They're looking really good."
Petry is returning to Blues after finishing his freshman season with the Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team in Mitchell, S.D.
The Blues had 22-20 overall record last season, finishing second in the District 9 tournament and missing a chance to advance to the state tournament.
"I think every guy has the same goal of getting to the state tournament and moving on from there," said Blues pitcher/third baseman Lucas Henry. "The state tournament is where we plan to be. Everyone knows that. As long as we continue to work hard, we can get there."
Henry pitched seven strong innings Tuesday against Perham in Game 1, but took the loss. Buzz starter Tay Doll outdueled Henry. Both pitchers scattered six hits and struck out four batters over seven innings.
However, the left-handed throwing Doll allowed just one run. Doll retired the last seven batters he faced.
Perham starter Brad Ellingson was also strong in Game 2. The right-hander went eight innings to earn the victory. Ellingson scattered 10 hits and limited the Blues to two runs through the first seven innings.
"I think from first batter all the way through No. 9 we've got solid bats," Petry said. "Today doesn't obviously show it, but I think as we go on in the season we're going to score a lot of runs."
Miller said he expects Henry and Petry, both righties, to anchor a deep pitching staff. Righty Casey Smith, righty Brooks Miller, lefty Kyle Kraemer, lefty Tyson Schoenborn, righty Aaron Ostlund, righty Cole Honl and righty Dylan Deavy are also expected to be pitching contributors.
Brooks Miller pitched six solid innings in the second game against the Buzz, allowing one run on five hits. He also struck out six batters.
"We have so many guys that can throw strikes and go out there and get the job done for us," Henry said.
Henry also likes the camaraderie this team has developed through the years.
"Everyone is friends on the team," Henry said. "We're out here every day with guys you like to be with. We kind of feed off each other in the dugout and on the field; it keeps us rallying so to say."
Perham 001 010 0--2 6 0
Blues 010 000 0--1 6 0
Doll and Stoll, Brill (7). Henry and Cahill. W--Doll (1-0). L--Henry (0-1).
Perham 000 010 13--5 7 1
Blues 100 010 02--4 10 1
Ellingson and Brill. Miller, Petry (7), Schoenborn (8), Smith (8) and Cahill, Carlsrud (4). W--Ellingson (1-0). L--Schoenborn (0-1). HR--Blues, Honl (1).