Woodbury baseball: Consistency elusive for Royals as playoffs loomAn up-and-down week ended Friday with a big step backward for the Royals.
By: Mike Longaecker, Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
An up-and-down week ended Friday with a big step backward for the Royals.
Woodbury was pounded 11-1 at home by Roseville in a game the Royals’ head coach called “the worst game of the year by far.”
“We just laid an egg,” Kevin McDermott said.
The Royals, 7-8 overall (5-7 Suburban East Conference), struggled in most facets of the Roseville game: they were out-hit 16-6; they committed three errors in the field; and their pitchers surrendered nine earned runs.
The loss was the second in a row for Woodbury, who earlier in the week had defeated one of the best SEC teams, with a convincing 5-1 win Wednesday over visiting Forest Lake.
“We’ve got to start playing more consistent baseball,” McDermott said.
The Royals were impressive at bat and on the mound against Forest Lake.
Senior Steven Fingleton made his first start of the year and held the Rangers to two hits. Fingleton, who also plays third base for the Royals, fanned six batters in the complete-game performance. He didn’t allow an earned run and walked two batters.
At bat, Fingleton was 1-2 with a double and a run batted in.
“He was a one man show,” McDermott said.
The coach said Fingleton’s performance against Forest Lake has earned him consideration to be part of the team’s three-man starting rotation.
“He showed us the blueprint for what you’ve got to do,” McDermott said of Fingleton’s start, which utilized an effective inside pitch and breaking ball.
Senior first baseman Ben Rexroth ripped his second homer of the season in the Forest Lake game while going 1-for-3 with two RBI. A total of eight Woodbury batters recorded a hit in the game.
That taste of victory would be short lived, however.
On Thursday the Royals traveled to St. Paul’s Midway Field, where they faced Tartan in a nonconference game.
Woodbury started out strong, capturing a 4-1 lead after the second inning. It was the Titans’ game from there on out, however. Tartan scored three times in the third and twice in the fifth on their way to the 6-4 win.
“(Against) Roseville and Tartan – we didn’t do a good job getting ahead of hitters,” McDermott said.
Senior starter Noah Danner took the loss against Tartan. He surrendered three earned runs, two walks and six hits, while striking out two. Fellow senior Ryan Fritze allowed one earned run in relief.
Junior outfielder Sawyer Moon was 2-for-4. Fritze and fellow senior Joe Wood both batted in two runs for the Royals.
Earlier in the week, the Royals lost 3-1 to conference-leading Cretin-Derham Hall at home.
Woodbury now readies for the final stretch before SEC playoffs begin.
The Royals started the week off Monday against Park, kicking off the first of their final six games of the season.
Woodbury faces Hastings today and Stillwater Friday in two home games.
“Huge week,” McDermott said. “We need to really get after it here.”
The Royals round out the remaining schedule next week with games against Mounds View, White Bear Lake and East Ridge.