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Woodbury baseball: Royals 5-0, in first place to start season

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Woodbury baseball: Royals 5-0, in first place to start season
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

Woodbury baseball players and coaches made field preparations on a rainy and snowy day well worth it.

The Royals beat Cretin-Derham Hall 3-2 at home on Wednesday, April 17, to take sole possession of first place in the Suburban East Conference.

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“We worked for two hours to get the field ready to play, and we were rewarded with a great complete game pitching performance from Ben Meyer and a win for our guys,” Woodbury head coach Kevin McDermott said.

Meyer went seven innings and struck out five and Jack Kohlbeck drove in the game-winning run in the sixth inning with runners on first and third.

McDermott said, “we needed to put the ball in play in that situation, and (Kohlbeck) did just that, and those are the little things that are helping us win games right now.”

Nick McLaughlin also drove in a run for the Royals (5-0, 5-0 SEC) during the third inning after the Raiders (4-1, 4-1 SEC) had gone up 2-0 in the top of the third. CDH out-hit the blue-and-white 8-6.

“Meyer pitched out of some jams early in the game and kept us in the game,” McDermott said. “We just continue to grind as a team, both offensively and defensively. They had a good pitcher on the mound, besides the fact that we struck out too much. We hit a lot of balls hard and caught a couple of breaks to push a few runs across.”

A day later, the Royals overcame a slow start against Hastings, which took a 1-0 first inning lead. The Raiders came into the game fresh off a 15-7 win over defending state champion Mounds View. Meyer turned the tables at the plate for the Royals with a home run and 3 RBI.

“He is a huge piece to our offensive success; hopefully he can build on that success and confidence at the plate,” McDermott said.

Woodbury’s Jake Dickmeyer drove in a run with two outs in addition to pitching 2.2 innings with two strikeouts. Nick Bentley started the game and struck out five in 3.1 innings of pitching.

Base running also went in the Royals’ favor since the Raiders had their catcher in at short stop for their injured starter. Consequently, the blue-and-white grabbed eight stolen bases.

This week, the Royals hope to solidify their hold on first place with a tough lineup of competition. Their week began with Stillwater (1-3, 1-2 SEC) on Monday, after the Bulletin went to print, prior to Wednesday’s home game with Mounds View (1-3, 1-3 SEC) at 4:15 p.m.

“Stillwater and Mounds View are traditional powerhouses in the SEC, but also in the state of Minnesota,” McDermott said. “We have a great deal of respect for every team in our league.”

The Royals also host White Bear Lake (0-2, 0-2 SEC) on Friday at 4:15 p.m. and East Ridge (4-1, 4-1 SEC) on Monday, April 28 at 4:15 p.m.

“Any team can beat anybody on any given day in the SEC, that is what makes this such a difficult conference,” McDermott said.

 -Matthew Davis

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