Baseball: Cardinals’ experience pays off against Blaine

Coon Rapids’ successful start to the 2013 season might have been delayed for the better part of a month, but the team is finding ways to win eight of its first nine games of the season.

Logan Shore continued to hit the ball well going 3-for-4 with two doubles and drove in a pair of runs in a 6-2 win against Blaine at Paul Parkway May 11.

Coon Rapids’ Noah Fedje (23) is tagged out by Blaine catcher Nick Caldeen, back, on a close play at home plate in the first inning of a 6-2 win at Blaine May 11. Photo by Jason Olson
Coon Rapids’ Noah Fedje (23) is tagged out by Blaine catcher Nick Caldeen, back, on a close play at home plate in the first inning of a 6-2 win at Blaine May 11. Photo by Jason Olson

Coon Rapids pitcher Mitch Drazkowski found himself in a jam in the second inning, walking in two consecutive runners but limited the Bengals to just two hits in four innings of work before Luke Jorgenson shut the door over the final three innings.

Blaine capitalized on Drazkowski’s wildness, scoring on back-to-back bases loaded walks with two outs from leadoff batter Tyler Reichenborn and Ryan Maurer.

Those were the only runs Blaine could manufacture against a veteran team like Coon Rapids which limited the Bengals to four hits while striking out seven times.

“We hit a lot of balls hard and had some good swings but they made some good plays but we threw the ball around too much on defense and we didn’t play defense at all the way we needed to against a good team,” Bengals coach Eric Feigum said.

Reichenborn, a freshman at 14-years-old, is hitting .471 with a .581 on-base percentage, 13 runs scored and six stolen bases in the lead-off role through 12 games.

“Nothing phases this kid,” Feigum said about Reichenborn who went 8-for-9 with nine stolen bases in two JV games to begin the season. “How do you keep this kid down here? So his first game up here he rips a single.

“We have high hopes for this kid. He’s a special talent and he’s the fastest kid in our program at 14. Strong arm, great hips, great instincts. A special kid.”

Feigum said Bryan, a senior, has been a staple on the mound and in the dugout for two seasons. He’s a lone returning all-conference selection and varsity starter. He gave up three earned runs with nine hits and threw 113 balls over seven innings of work.

Coon Rapids tied the game in the fourth inning on an RBI single from Tyler Wojiechowski. Blaine pitcher Dustin Bryan overthrew first base on a bunt attempt by Tyler Kelm which allowed the tying run to score from third base.

One inning later Cardinals leadoff batter Noah Fedje was hit by a pitch before Shore stepped to the plate and skied a fly ball down the right field line that was lost in the lights. Shore ended up on second base with an RBI to give the Cardinals the lead for good. He ended up going 3-for-4 on the night.

Coon Rapids added a pair of runs in the sixth inning to secure the Northwest Suburban Conference and lone game against Blaine.

“We’re finding a way to win,” Coon Rapids coach Jerry Coe said after the game, admitting he might be a little too critical of his squad after starting pitcher Drazkowski’s six walks in four innings of work in his first start. “Too many mental errors and we didn’t run the bases too well. We’re winning but we’re not playing the way I’d like to play.”

Coe said the last practice was two weeks earlier: “We’re getting into some bad habits.”

Coon Rapids completed its season sweep at Maple Grove 1-0 in what turned out to be a pitchers dual. Cardinals pitcher Jake Bruner tossed the complete game shutout to improve to 3-0 on the year and hasn’t given up a run in 18 innings of work. Shore drove in Kelm for the lone run of the game to help the Cardinals reach 7-1.

The Cardinals collected 12 hits in a 7-4 win against Champlin Park May 9. Coon Rapids rallied to score three times in the top of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Boxwell went 3-for-4 driving in a pair of runs and three other Cardinals tallied at least two hits while pitcher Nick Hanzlik recorded his first varsity win and start going 6.1 innings. Tyler Wojiechowski knocked in his first home run of the season for Coon Rapids.

Robbinsdale Armstrong was the first team to knock Coon Rapids off the list of unbeatens with a 3-2 win in 11 innings May 8. Shore had a double and drove in a run as Wojiechowski knocked in the other run. Grant Farley pitched the first eight innings before Luke Jorgenseon finished the final three innings and recorded the loss.

Coon Rapids continued to roll in a 2-0 win at Andover May 7 as Shore struck out eight to earn the win and went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI double. Tony Mrosla went 3-for-3, accounting for the other RBI for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals scored four times in the first inning in a pivotal 6-2 win against Northwest Suburban Conference foe Maple Grove May 6. Kelm picked up two hits including a double and Grant Farley drove in a pair of runs. Bruner scattered three hits across six innings of work for the complete game win.


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