Coon Rapids opened the season with a pair of wins against Northwest Suburban Conference foes Park Center and Champlin Park in a span of three days.
The Cardinals opened with a 7-2 win against Champlin Park April 26 as standout pitcher Logan Shore scattered six hits and one earned run across six innings. He struck out eight, walked two and had two wild pitches.
Shore went 2-for-4 at the plate driving in two runs. Tony Mrosla and Noah Fedje also had two hits.
Three days later Cardinals pitcher Jake Bruner picked up a three-hit complete game shutout win by a 4-0 score at Park Center April 29.
Coon Rapids lead-off hitter Tyler Kelm went 2-for-3 with a double and scored once. Alex Boxwell led the bats going 3-for-4 with a double. He drove in and scored one run. Fedje picked up two hits, including one of the Cardinals four doubles.
Anoka recovered from a 9-1 loss to Centennial April 25 by sweeping an April 27 doubleheader only to come up short once again to Elk River April 29.
The Saturday twin bill began with a 6-3 win against Park Center and continued with a 4-3 win against Blaine.
The Tornadoes came from behind in both games for the wins as they rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Park Center.
Brett Bybee drove in a key run against Blaine in the slim win, while senior captain and pitcher Ryan Rumpca earned the complete game win with eight strike-outs and four hits over six innings.
Anoka continued play in the Northwest Suburban Conference with a 6-3 loss to Elk River April 29. Ryan Sutterer had a home run and drove in three runs in the loss, while Kevin Flemming took the loss on the mound for Anoka.
Playing its fifth game in six days, Anoka struggled against Champlin Park, losing by a 9-1 score April 30 to fall to 3-3 overall.
The Rebels scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to spell defeat for the Tornadoes.
Blaine snapped an 0-3 start by recording a 5-2 win in the second game of a doubleheader against Andover at Paul Parkway April 29.
The first game served as a Northwest Suburban Conference contest, which the Huskies won 8-3.
Andover’s Erik Olson went 3-for-3 with one RBI, while designated hitter Derek Walton drove in three runs, two coming on a third-inning double in the Huskies season opener.
Blaine’s Dustin Bryan drove in two runs on a two-out double in the fifth inning in the first game loss.
Blaine’s bats came alive for nine hits in the second half of the double header. Sam Kriegler and Zach Rustad each had two hits for the Bengals and Caldeen picked up a pair of walks.
Rustad also picked up his first win on the mound, pitching 6 1/3 innings of work while striking out seven, walking five and throwing 132 pitches. The Huskies had three hits and Drew Gregor worked the final two outs to record his first save for the Bengals.
Spring Lake Park
The Panthers were off to a 3-0 start thanks in part to strong pitching through the delayed start to the season.
The Panthers earned a walk-off 4-3 win against Totino-Grace April 30.
Senior captain Ryan Flink not only went 2-for-3 at the plate and reached base three times but drove in the game-winning run on a sacrafice fly to left field, driving in Blake Luttman for the game-winnner.
Alex Etherton also heat-up the Panthers bats with a pair of doubles but the work on the mound by starting pitcher Justin Weber helped keep the home team in the game.
Weber, a sophomore, scattered eight hits and three strike outs across seven innings to win his season opening start.
Spring Lake Park pitcher Matt Clement struck out 11 in five innings of work in an 11-1 win against Minneapolis Edison in the season opener and followed that with another strong pitching performance.
Alex Etherton and Caleb Axelson combined for the seven-inning shutout in a 2-0 win against Minnehaha Academy.