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Baseball: Woodbury bests East Ridge for fifth-straight win

Jake Dickmeyer tags out Alex Pape during Woodbury's 4-2 win over East Ridge April 27. (Staff photo by Jace Frederick)1 / 3
Brady Mundahl fires to first. (Staff photo by Jace Frederick)2 / 3
Cal Kellner and Sam Kastner celebrate a Raptors run. (Staff photo by Jace Frederick)3 / 3

Royals coach Kevin McDermott said it starts on the mound for Woodbury.

After a rough start to the spring, Woodbury found its starting rotation – a cycle of Jake Dickmeyer, Max Meyer and Brady Mundahl.

Those three have combined to deliver strong performance after strong performance of late, which has led to Royals’ success.

Woodbury bested East Ridge 4-2 April 27 to collect the regular season sweep of the Raptors and win its fifth-straight game.

“We’ve been hitting as a team better. At the beginning of the year a couple of guys were ripping it up, but now everyone’s putting it in play and having more competitive at-bats,” Dickmeyer said. “We’ve been fielding the ball pretty well and we’ve been pitching well. We’re just competing at a high level.”

But again, it all comes back to pitching.

Meyer was the gun on the hill against East Ridge, and he fired strike after strike with a variety of pitches. He tossed six innings, allowing just two runs.

But heading into the final frame with a two-run advantage, McDermott turned to his ace – Dickmeyer.

Dickmeyer delivered to earn the save, just three days after he tossed eight innings in a wild come-from-behind 7-5 win over Mounds View – the defending back-to-back Class AAA state champs – on the road April 24. It was Mounds View’s first loss of the season.

Woodbury started the game in a 5-0 hole, but clawed itself back with four runs in the sixth, largely off the strength of a Dickmeyer three-run blast. The Royals tied the game in the seventh and won it in the eighth.

“Our guys are resilient. We didn’t falter at all,” McDermott said. “We just stuck with the plan. Nobody was shaken up or anything.”

McDermott likes his three-man starting rotation, and he recognizes he’s got two horses at the top with Dickmeyer and Meyer.

“Both Jake and Max can throw multiple pitches for strikes and they just pound the zone and they spot. They do all the little stuff,” McDermott said. “They’ve been huge. Without them, we certainly wouldn’t be where we are right now. It’s been good.”

For East Ridge, the loss was a microcosm of what’s been an underwhelming start to the season.

The Raptors are 5-5, with multiple losses plagued by fielding mistakes and poor baserunning, as was the case against the Royals.

“We play competitive baseball games and we hit the ball well, but we have yet to really follow through on consistent baserunning and defense,” East Ridge coach Brian Sprout said. “It’s really hurt us in several games. There’s a reason we’re 5-5.”