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East Ridge Legion baseball team wins cross-town match-up

East Ridge Legion players warm up before taking at-bats Monday at home against Woodbury. Bulletin photo by Mike Longaecker

Youthful but resilient, East Ridge steered out of a skid Monday, July 9, against Woodbury Blue.

The Raptors won 10-3 at home. Pitcher Drew Molin earned the complete-game win against Woodbury.

This year East Ridge is fielding a significantly younger roster than other Legion teams.

Head coach Chris Doege said only a handful of his players this season had varsity experience.

"We've been kind of making adjustments on the fly and learning quickly," he said.

Through 24 games, East Ridge has managed just eight wins.

"We haven't been as successful as I'd hoped," Doege said.

Still, he said the season offers the youthful players a "great chance for guys to learn" against varsity-level competition.

He named Molin as the team's top starter, noting that the junior-to-be earned wins against two of the better teams in Minnesota: Wayzata and Hopkins.

Molin, a lefty who earned two complete-game wins for the Raptors in the spring, is coming off an all-conference season.

"He always gives us a chance to win," Doege said. "He's just a competitor out there. He's always asking for the ball."

East Ridge's No. 2 starter, Josh Stuempert, has also been throwing well, Doege said. Stuempert spend the spring prep season on the JV roster, but has been showing major signs of improvement, the coach said.

"He's been a real nice surprise for us," Doege said.

On the offensive end, Aaron Rau - another all-conference player for East Ridge in the spring prep season - has been swinging the bat well, Doege said. He praised Rau's versatility in the field, which has allowed him to play virtually every infield position for the Legion club.

"He's a do-everything utility-type guy," Doege said.

Catcher Luke Ringhofer has also stood out at - and behind - the plate. In addition to being a leader in extra-base hits for East Ridge, Ringhofer's arm has doomed several stolen base attempts this summer.

"He just stops the run game," Doege said.

The coach also credited Ryan Gregory's arm in the outfield for several put-outs.