Coon Rapids Redbirds won back-to-back games to improve to 12-8 overall (6-3 in the league) this season after a 5-4 win against Metro Minny League-rival Blaine Fusion June 28 and an 8-6 non-league win against Victoria Vics, the defending Class B state champions June 30.
Coon Rapids handed Blaine (7-1, 15-8) its first Metro Minny loss of the season in 11 innings on a hit inside the third base line to score the winning run from second base.
Fusion pitcher Matt Mossey pitched 10 innings and didn’t allow an earned run before turning the ball over to Tanner Schumacher.
Blaine held a 3-0 lead going into the sixth inning, but Coon Rapids came back with four unearned runs to lead 4-3 in the seventh inning. The Fusion tied the game on an RBI single from Mossey that scored Logan Hershey to send it into extra innings.
Two nights later the Cardinals kept the positive vibes going, beating the reigning state champs in their first meeting. Once again Coon Rapids came from behind to pound out 17 hits and score three runs in the eighth inning and two more in the ninth to end June with an 8-7 record.
Taylor Nelson picked up the win in two innings or relief work after starting pitcher Nick Denny worked the first five innings. Tyler Stein started the hits parade with a bases-load double which scored three runs in the third inning. The Vics came right back with four runs to lead 4-3 in the bottom half of the inning. Jake Poehler went 4-for-5 with two RBI and Sam Christopherson and Aaron Lindstrom each had three hits.
While Coon Rapids has yet to have a player or pitcher named to the Player of the Week honors through nine weeks, Blaine has had a number of honorees including pitcher Brian Hodney (week one) giving up one hit and striking out seven in five shutout innings for the win. Mossey has earned the pitcher of the week nod twice. Week three for a five-inning shutout giving up two hits and striking out seven and week seven for a complete game win giving up two hits, one run and striking out nine batters in 10 innings of work.
Anoka traded league losses with non-league wins going 2-2 overall since June 25. The Bucs downed Albertville 12-7 and Rogers 11-1 on June 25 and 29, respectively, using big innings to propel the double-digit runs totals in each game.
Anoka scored six runs in the fourth inning against Albertville and pounded out 17 hits in the game, led by three-hit evenings from J.D. Wells, Jake Niedenfuer, Nash Gandrud and Mitch Ward. Nick Hoffman and Kirk Kenneally both had two hits.
Against Rogers, the rally came in a four-run second inning and the Bucs scored in six of the eight innings.
Wells, Casey VanKrevelen, Hoffman and Jared Berg all had three hits. Hoffman gave up one run on four hits with 10 strike outs in seven innings to take the win on the mound.
The losses came against second-place Forest Lake, 7-2, June 26 and against East Bethel, 5-4, July 1. Ryan Kopca and Nelson each had three hits against East Bethel. Nelson took the loss on the mound, giving up two earned runs on seven hits and four strike outs in nine innings of work. Anoka had six errors to sustain Bandits’ rallies.