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East Ridge baseball: Raptors' two-game winning streak dashed

East Ridge senior Andy Kemper and the Raptors battled Woodbury, but fell 1-0 to the rival Royals in the teams' first head-to-head meeting of the 2012 season.

East Ridge High School's baseball team went 2-2 on the week, upending fellow School District 833 and Suburban East Conference school Park 3-2 last Monday and beating Roseville 2-1 in 10 innings last Wednesday. However, the Raptors went on to lose to Hudson, 10-5 last Thursday and to neighbor Woodbury in a close, 1-0 showdown last Friday.

The Raptors (4-7, 4-5 SEC) began the week with a one-run win over intra-district rival Park on Monday, April 23, in Woodbury. Raptors sophomore Drew Molin fanned three and held the Wolfpack to three hits. Sophomore Luke Ringhofer went 2-for-3 at bat with two RBI.

Senior Andy Sammon hit a game-winning single in the Raptors' 10-inning, one-run win over Roseville last Wednesday, batting in senior Aaron Rau.

"I think we had over a million opportunities to win the game, and we finally got a hit and scored the run," said Raptors' coach Brian Sprout.

Senior Andy Kemper pitched the final three innings for the Raptors, relieving senior Mark Landgrebe.

The Raptors' two-game winning streak ended against Hudson (Wis.), as the Raiders' Jake Shaw drove in three runs - including a triple - to help the Wisconsin team win after a 5-1, first inning deficit.

East Ridge's early lead was the result of some great play, but errors allowed the Raiders to get back into the game, Sprout said.

"It was a game that we did not play very well as a team," he said. "We made errors and we gave them a lot of opportunities, and they took advantage of it."

The Raptors faced their other intra-district team, Woodbury, last Friday, falling after a showdown that resulted in only one run - for Woodbury - in the fifth inning.

Woodbury pitcher Noah Danner took the win, allowing three hits after throwing a complete game. Kemper took the loss.

Now halfway through the regular season, the Raptors' early-season struggles with pitching and defense have improved, Sprout said.

"Now, it's a matter of us getting clutch hits when the game is on the line," he said. "In the Woodbury game last Friday, we were waiting for someone to get those hits. Those hits are going to help us win."

The Raptors go into week four with a reprise outing against Hastings on Monday after the Bulletin went to press. The Raptors will host White Bear Lake today and will travel to Mounds View on Friday. In their previous contests, East Ridge bested Hastings 5-4, but lost to White Bear Lake and Mounds View, 8¬-5 and 13-2, respectively.