Baseball: Several teams remain in Metro Minny league race

The second half of the Metro Minny League schedule should be an entertaining, but packed July schedule.

According to the league web site, no team has played more than 11 games, so “let the pennant fever begin.”

Anoka Bucs

After losing four straight, Anoka put together back-to-back wins against Elk River 8-0 July 13 followed by a 13-3 win over the Albertville Villains the next day.

Blaine Fusion’s Logan Hershey is tagged out at third base by Anoka Bucs thirdbaseman Mitch Ward during the Fusion’s 9-6 Metro Minny Conference win July 2.

Blaine Fusion’s Logan Hershey is tagged out at third base by Anoka Bucs thirdbaseman Mitch Ward during the Fusion’s 9-6 Metro Minny Conference win July 2.Photo by Bill Jones

J.D. Wells, Casey VanKrevelen and Mitch Ward each had two hits to pace the Bucs against Elk River. VanKrevlen drove in three runs and Wells added two RBIs.

The Bucs scored five times in the third inning to take control of the league game.

Anoka pitcher Jack Niedenfuer scattered two hits and three walks for the complete game shutout. He struck out 10 while facing just five batters over the minimum for his second win of the season.

The Bucs return to Enloe Field in Anoka to face rival Coon Rapids Redbirds this evening (Friday, July 19). Coon Rapids won the first meeting of the season, 7-6 June 10. Anoka out hit their counterparts 15-6 in the loss as five Bucs had multiple hits, led by VanKrevelen going four-for-six.

Blaine Fusion

The Fusion sat a half game ahead of Isanti, the Fusion’s July 17 opponent, at the top of the Metro Minny League standings at 11-2 (20-10 overall) through July 15.

The Fusion improved to 5-2 away from its home field on Paul Parkway after a 3-2 win at fourth-place Forest Lake July 15.

Blaine Fusion’s Tom Dick safely steals second base during the Fusion’s 9-6 Metro Minny League win July 2.

Blaine Fusion’s Tom Dick safely steals second base during the Fusion’s 9-6 Metro Minny League win July 2.Photo by Bill Jones

Blaine pitcher Matt Mossey didn’t allow an earned run over eight innings of work and he teamed with Matt Maurer for the lone RBIs of the evening. Joe Tupy scored on a hustle play for Blaine’s third and decisive run. Tupy scored on an overthrow to home plate which two Forest Lake players charged for the ball, leaving home plate open for Tupy to scamper across.

Brooks Maner earned the save in the ninth inning, stranding a Brewer at second base.

Coon Rapids Redbirds

Coon Rapids remains in contention of the Metro Minny title with a 9-4 record heading into the third week of games in July.

The Redbirds (18-10 overall) went 5-1 in the busiest week of the season so far. Four of the games came against non-league foes, including a 9-1 win at Hastings, 5-2 loss to Marshall and a doubleheader sweep over Glencoe 14-7 and 11-2. The final three games were played at the Marshall Tournament July 12-13.

The Redbirds returned home with a 5-1 win against league foe Champlin LoGators July 15. Redbirds pitcher Andrew Driessen gave up one run on eight hits in eight innings before turning the ball over to Taylor Nelson for the final inning. He faced four batters in the ninth inning.

Coon Rapids outfielder Patrick O’Donnell went 10-for-17 and scored eight runs in those games to raise his batting average to .362. Jake Poehler continues to pace the bats with a .449 batting average after going eight-for-19 with 10 RBIs and three runs scored. Poehler, who earned Metro Minny League Player of the Week honors for week 10 went two-for-four in the 14-7 win against Glencoe, driving in five runs.

Multi-position starter Dan Skog continues to be among the team leaders at the plate with a .307 batting average, 11 RBIs and 18 runs. He went eight-for-16, scored eight runs and drove in five more runs from July 8-13.

St. Francis Saints

St. Francis was tied with Anoka for fifth place, five games behind Metro Minny-leader Blaine with a record of 5-6 and a 9-9 overall mark.

The Saints picked up a 5-4 win against East Bethel July 12 after handing Champlin a 5-1 loss July 10.

The win over East Bethel featured Tony Redund going three-for-four and Luther Kangas going two-for-four. Pitcher Travis Elwood won the game with seven strikeouts, three hits and three runs in eight innings of work, despite eight walks. Ryan Kraft and Chris Carpenter teamed up for the final inning of work, giving up one hit and one run with two walks and one strikeout.

Jason Olson is at
jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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