Shows promise in 1-0 loss to No. 1 Cardinals
Maple Grove’s young baseball team is showing signs it is maturing into a pretty competitive squad.
The Crimson went 2-2 in last week’s action and showed they could hang with the best when they lost a 1-0 decision to No. 1 ranked Coon Rapids.
MAPLE GROVE 4, ARMSTRONG 3
The Crimson took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jack Kuebelbeck singled to ignite the Crimson offense before Joe Franta doubled, plating Tyler Field and Kuebelbeck.
Armstrong scored in the top of the third on a solo home run trimming the score to 2-1. Maple Grove’s Ben Osborn answered with a single, stole second, eventually scoring on an RBI single by Nate Erickson.
The Falcons took advantage of back-to-back walks in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game at 3-3.
Shortstop Isaac Collins led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single and was bumped up to second on a Riley Byland sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch and a Kuebelbeck groundout plated the game winner.
Winning pitcher Riley Byland had an impressive outing in relief. The Falcons managed just one hit off of Byland, who allowed no earned runs, walked one and struck out one during his 3 1/3 innings of work.
CHAMPLIN PARK 11, MAPLE GROVE 5
Despite a big day at the dish from Ben Osborn, who finished 2-4, the Crimson lost 11-5 to Champlin Park on Wednesday. Two of Maple Grove’s runs were scored thanks to timely hitting by Osborn. He homered in the second inning and singled in the seventh inning. Field, Erickson, and Osborn finished the game with two hits each.
Maple Grove used four different pitchers in trying to squelch the potent Rebel offensive attack but to no avail. Champlin Park’s first four hitters combined for seven hits and seven RBIs.
MAPLE GROVE 19, ANDOVER 0
The Crimson shut the door early on Andover, capturing a 19-0 victory on Thursday at Crimson Stadium. With 10 runs in the first three innings, the Crimson 9 left no doubt about the eventual outcome.
Providing the offensive punch for Maple Grove was Collins, who finished 2 for 3 with 3 runs scored, and one RBI. Sophomore designated hitter Adam Brant went 2 for 4 with four RBI’s and one run scored. And senior left-fielder Austin Bies reached base three times scoring three runs with two RBIs.
Pitcher Erick Kivi had his best outing of the season as he kept Andover off the scoreboard for all five innings. He pitched a shutout, allowed two hits and fanned four.
COON RAPIDS 1, MAPLE GROVE 0
The Crimson out hit top ranked Coon Rapids seven hits to three but couldn’t come up with the “big hit” in losing a well-played contest by two of the Northwest Suburban perennial powers. Both teams shined defensively as each turned three double plays on the evening.
“A rabbits foot would have helped,” cited Crimson coach Darby Carlson.
Field both hit and pitched well for Maple Grove. Field was solid at the plate finishing 2-2. He held the Coon Rapids offensive attack in check, racking up six strikeouts. Field allowed one earned run on three hits and eight walks over seven innings.
Carlson is encouraged by what he saw last week from his team.
“We are playing much better baseball and with a break here or there we’ll get back to a higher caliber of play,” he said. “I’m proud of our team as we continue to battle despite our shortened season record. We may surprise somebody come playoffs.”