Solid individual performances highlight opening week
Legacy Christian jumped to a 13-1 win in Tuesday’s home opener in Andover thanks to an eight-run second inning. Lions junior Lucas Nelson went 3-for-3 with a double and triple, driving in four runs and scored three times for a breakout opening game. Junior Josh Niessen went 1-for-2 with a walk and stole two bases. Josh Peterson and Jarvey Hill each walked twice. The Lions had nine different runners score, scattering seven hits and seven walks in the five-inning contest.
Junior pitcher Logan Pierro had a solid start scattering three hits over five innings. He struck out 10, walked two and gave up one earned run.
One day earlier, Legacy opened the season with an 8-6 win at Braham, keyed by a five-run fourth inning. The Bombers cut the lead to two after scoring five runs over the final two innings.
Hill, Levi Kendall and Nielsen each had two hits. Hill and Josh Demars each drove in two runs and Nelson stole two bases.
Legacy coach Adam Hill gave the opening day start to junior Ethan Mocchi, who struck out 14 batters over five innings. He scattered three hits, one walk and one unearned run to set a positive tone to the start of the season.
New Life Academy spoiled the conference opener for Legacy on Thursday in a come-from-behind 6-4 win in Andover. Legacy led 4-2 through four innings but NLA posted a five-run fifth inning which proved to be more than enough for the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association Conference win. Four Lions batters recorded multiple hits and Hill added a pair of walks.
Anoka wins opener
Anoka’s Max Ploof went 3-for-3 with a double and Tanner Fry hit his first career home run in what was more than enough support for senior pitcher Alex Farley to pick up the win.
Farley, a University of Minnesota recruit, gave up two hits and one earned run over six innings. He struck out 10 and walked four. Junior Trent Palmer struck out two in the final inning to secure the win.
Coon Rapids senior Jake Dumovic went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and scored twice. Avery Lehman smacked a triple and later scored. Starting pitcher Jake Hansen had the other double for the Cardinals and had one RBI. On the mount he scattered two runs and seven hits over five innings. He also struck out four and walked three before Ray Wellner gave up three runs in two innings of relief to take the loss.
Anoka couldn’t replicate that success Thursday as Centennial won 8-3.
Coon Rapids picked up its first win of the season Thursday by a similar 8-3 score against Elk River.
The Cardinals scored twice in the first four innings before breaking the game open with a four-run fifth inning. Dumovic and McCoy Merkel each drove in two runs. Merkel was one of three Cardinals to have two hits including a double.
Starting pitcher Dan Mathews held the Elks to two hits and two runs over six innings for the win. He struck out six and walked three before Wellner worked the last inning to close out the win.
Huskies walk-off winner
After losing 3-1 at Blaine two days earlier, Andover needed eight innings for an 8-7 walk-off win over Park Center April 14.
The Huskies jumped to a 4-1 lead after the first inning of the home opener and first of a season-high four-game home stand.
The game was back and fourth and as Andover coach Don Gawreluk said Park Center, “has a really nice squad and they don’t quit.”
That rang true after Mike Noga hit a rocket to left center as the Pirates threw out what would’ve been the winning run in the eighth inning.
With two outs and runners on first and second base, Tanner Williams walked to load the bases for Nolan Hartmann.
Hartmann connected for his fourth hit of the game, this time over the head of the shortstop to score knock in the winning run and get the home schedule off to a strong start.
Saints rally for opener win
St. Francis used five walks and four hits to start the season with a 9-1 win over Chisago Lakes at home April 12.
James Green go the start for the Saints, giving up two hits and striking out seven in five innings of shutout work. Kyler Hennen got the win in two relief innings, giving up one run, one walk and three strikeouts in two innings.
George Bertels scored twice, Max Spitzer had an RBI-double and Jake Scardigli walked twice to highlight St. Francis’ offense.