MW BASEBALL: MW drops doubleheader 10-1, 18-7WORTHINGTON — The Blue Devils were simply too much for the Bluejay baseball team to handle Tuesday.
WORTHINGTON — The Blue Devils were simply too much for the Bluejay baseball team to handle Tuesday.
Riverland, which is 26-9 and nationally ranked this season, swept Minnesota West in a doubleheader in Worthington. The visiting team won the first game 10-1 before winning the second game 18-7 in five innings.
The losses dropped Minnesota West to 2-19 on the season entering the final stretch of the regular season.
“We had a tough time out there today,” MW coach Jeff Linder said. “We got the bats going in the second game, but there were a lot of misplayed balls on our part. We needed to execute better defensively and that just didn’t happen.”
The Bluejays’ bats were silent in the first game, when Minnesota West dropped a 10-1 contest.
The only run came in the seventh inning when Stuart Rogers scored from third base on a wild pitch.
The Bluejays finished the game with just five hits, with Eric Weineke leading the way going 2-for-3 with two doubles for Minnesota West.
Shane Schoborg pitched the entire game for MW, striking out nine, walking two and giving up 14 hits.
“Our bats were dead in that game,” Linder said. “And there was no reason we shouldn’t have been hitting against that pitcher.
“And there were times in the field where we just didn’t pay attention in certain situations. That’s so unusual for this team. We normally do well defensively and our struggles have been at the plate. Today we struggled everywhere.”
A positive for the home team was that things did get better at the plate, at least, in the second game. But a downfall for Minnesota West was that its opponent was more dominant at the plate, too.
With the score 1-0 after the top of the first, Minnesota West scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to take its first—and final—lead of the day.
Joey Kinley scored on a sacrifice hit by Adam Munkel, Mitch Jensen scored on a sacrifice hit by Rogers and Weineke scored on a double to right-center by Alex Peterson to make the score 3-1.
But two big innings for the Blue Devils hurt the Bluejays’ chances of winning.
Riverland batted through its lineup in the second inning, scoring five runs on three hits and three walks. And the third inning was even worse for MW as the Blue Devils scored seven runs on four hits and four walks to make the score 13-5 midway through the game.
“They kept finding ways to extend their innings, which meant our pitchers had to stay out there longer than they would’ve liked,” Linder said. “Our pitching seemed to be a continuous issue in that second game. We were having some control issues and with how hot it was out today, our guys were just getting tired.”
Jacob Laverman started the game for the Bluejays, tossing the first inning and facing two batters in the second before being pulled. He eventually came back in to get the final out of the game in the fifth inning. He finished the day with a hit batter, two walks, no strikeouts and three earned runs.
Kinley came in for relief in the second inning and pitched 1 1/3 innings for Minnesota West, leaving with one out in the third. He finished on the mound with four walks, one strikeout, three hits and six runs.
Rogers pitched the majority of the game for the Bluejays, tossing 2 1/3 innings, walking three, striking out none and giving up nine runs.
“We had some pitching problems, but our offense kept trying to fight back,” Linder said. “And there’s no doubt that Riverland is a good team. They’re ranked nationally and are tough to compete against.”
Minnesota West’s next game is today against Ridgewater.
Despite the tough outing on Tuesday, the coaches have no doubt that the team will shake off the tough losses quickly and will be ready to play when they step on the field again today.
“The good thing about this team is that they play for each other,” Linder said. “They have had no issues all season re-grouping after tough losses. No one is happy with the outcomes of today’s games, but they’ll bounce right back and will be as ready as ever to play again. These guys play well together.”
Game 1 R H E
RL 202 410 1 — 10 14 0
MW 000 000 1 — 1 5 2
Game 2 R H E
RL 157 14 — 18 14 1
MW 321 10 — 7 7 0
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335.