By Rob LaPlante
Crow River News Sports
The St. Michael-Albertville baseball team quickly erased a poor offensive showing in its season debut a week ago at the Metrodome, pounding out 14 hits in a 12-4 home win last Friday over Buffalo.
After losing the season opener, 2-1 to Moorhead, STMA fell behind 2-0 in the first inning to the Bison. STMA answered with three runs in the first inning on the strength of RBI doubles from senior Jacob Dzubay and sophomore Jordan Joseph.
The Knights scored three more runs in the third inning to open up a 6-3 cushion. Dzubay made the lead stand, pitching 6.1 innings to earn his first win of the season and even his record at 1-1. On top of the win, he collected two doubles at the plate.
Senior Tyler Dallum led the Knights going 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring three runs and driving in one. Senior’s Jeff Hackenmueller and Bailey Solberg each had two RBI’s, as did junior shortstop Sam Guillou.
STMA 7, Sartell-St. Stephen 4
A day after scoring 12 runs, the Knights answered the bell less than 24 hours later with a 7-4 win over Sartell-St. Stephen at St. John’s University.
With Dallum on the mound for the Knights, like the prior two games, Sartell took an early 1-0 lead with a first-inning run. Dallum admittedly was a little off in his first start of the season.
“I think I could have located my fastball a little better,” Dallum said. “I thought I did alright for my first time out there. Next time, I hope to be a little more efficient.”
Although he walked three batters and allowed three runs in four innings of work, Dallum earned the win thanks to a six-run second inning that helped pave way for the victory.
STMA was sparked in the game by leadoff hitter Andrew Winans. The junior second baseman finished the day 4-for-4 with a triple and three singles at the plate and also stole his third base of the season.
“You know you’re going to score some runs when your leadoff hitter gets on base every time,” Schumm said. “Our bats stayed hot and eight of our nine hitters collected at least one hit.”
Tech defeats Knights 7-4
Playing in its third game in four days, the Knights traveled to Dick Putz Field in Waite Park, but this time came up on the wrong end of a 7-4 score to St. Cloud Tech.
For the fourth straight game and third game in a row, the Knights fell behind the 8-ball early. Tech rallied off STMA junior pitcher Brandon Rankila for a 3-0 lead behind the strength of a pair of first-inning doubles and a line drive home run.
STMA cut the lead to 3-2, but the Tigers answered for two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Six of the seven runs were charged to Rankila, who suffered the loss over 4.1 innings pitched. Senior Aaron Michaelson pitched the final 1.2 innings in relief.
“Tech is a section team with a lot of decent players back,” Schumm said. “They were playing their first game of the year and we were on our fourth game. We had to start our No. 3 pitcher up against their ace. It was a tough matchup.”
Hackenmueller was the lone bright spot, collecting one hit and walking twice.
With the compact schedule forcing a busier weekly schedule, Dallum said the key is to play with short memories.
“It’s really crucial with 4-5 games a week that if we have one bad game, we let it go,” Dallum said. “Hopefully we can stay focused and the bats stay hot. We have so much depth in our pitching. I think that will be key down the stretch.”
The Knights hosted Rogers at home on Tuesday and played a doubleheader Wednesday afternoon against Cambridge-Isanti at the Metrodome (results unavailable). Saturday they will travel to Alexandria for a pair of games. The first game starts at 10 a.m. against Alexandria and the second at 12:30 p.m. against Marshall.