Woodbury baseball: Close games doom RoyalsThree games. Three losses. All by one run.
By: Mike Longaecker, Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
Three games. Three losses. All by one run.
“That was tough to swallow,” said Woodbury baseball coach Kevin McDermott.
The Royals lost 5-4 on Friday to Roseville, 1-0 Wednesday against Forest Lake and 7-6 on April 9 to Cretin-Derham Hall.
The losses put Woodbury’s record at 1-3 (0-3 Suburban East Conference).
“We’ve just got to learn how to win at this point,” McDermott said.
In Friday’s game, the Raiders claimed a 3-0 lead in the third, but the Royals battled back the next inning to create a one-run deficit.
Woodbury plated two runs in the top of the seventh inning, giving the Royals a 4-3 lead. Roseville scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh.
“We didn’t get it done,” McDermott said.
Senior Ryan Fritze led Woodbury’s offensive attack with three hits in four at-bats, including a double. He also drove in one run and stole two bases.
Sawyer Moon, Ben Rexroth, Ryan Winter and Chris Hofacker all collected a hit in the game. Winter, who along with Rexroth also recorded a double, drove in three runs against Roseville.
Fritze took the loss for Woodbury, allowing three hits and two earned runs in three innings pitched. He struck out one. Starting pitcher Noah Danner pitched three innings, fanning three batters, while allowing three earned runs. He gave up six hits to the Raiders.
Against Forest Lake, the Royals allowed their one and only run in the first inning. Starting pitcher Brandon Mazur went the distance for Woodbury in the losing effort, surrendering one earned run and collecting three strikeouts.
“He was rock solid,” McDermott said of Mazur.
Meanwhile, Woodbury’s offense sputtered. The Royals struck out 12 times against the Rangers – eight of which came while batters looked at the third strike.
“We can’t be taking those strikes,” McDermott said.
Woodbury managed three hits in the game – two of which came from Moon, the other from Hofacker.
In the Cretin game, Woodbury fell behind 6-0 in a big third inning for the Raiders.
Woodbury chipped away at the lead the following inning, drawing the score to 6-1. The Royals tied things up in the top of the seventh, but Cretin managed to score the game winner in the bottom half of the seventh.
Fritze and Quinten Strub both collected two hits in the game. Strub drove in two runs, while Fritze, Steven Fingleton, Rexroth and Winter all recorded one RBI against Cretin.
Fritze, the team’s shortstop who also appears as a closer on the mound, took the loss against Cretin after starter Nate Wallgren pitched four innings. Wallgren struck out two batters and allowed three earned runs.
Moon pitched for two innings against Cretin. He didn’t give up a run and fanned three of the seven batters he faced.
“He was lights out in the fifth and sixth of the game,” McDermott said. “He’s doing an awesome job for us.”
Despite the tough losses, Woodbury has shown notable improvement in at least one key area: defense. In the three games, the Royals committed just one error.
“I’m extremely happy with it,” McDermott said of the team’s defensive efforts. “And it’s not just like we’re making routine plays.”
Woodbury played Park in another road game while the Royals await their home turf to take after recovering from a 2011 Asian beetle infestation.
The Royals play Hastings today on the road and travel Friday to Stillwater.