Rockford gains momentum for baseball playoffs

Faue pitches three straight one-hitters

by Dave Pedersen

Sun PRESS Newspapers

Despite splitting four baseball games last week, Rockford coach Randy Griffith could not have been more pleased with his team’s play, adding “They played the game of baseball the way it should be played in all four games.”

Rockford’s Aaron Pietsch leaps for the baseball at first base. (Photo by Bill Nord)
Rockford’s Aaron Pietsch leaps for the baseball at first base. (Photo by Bill Nord)

Rockford lost a double header against a strong Maple Lake team by both 1-0 scores. Junior George Faue pitched his second consecutive one-hitter, striking out five and walking one batter. The Irish scored an unearned run in the third inning.

Griffith said his batters only struck out twice in the game and put the ball in play. The team could not come up with the key hit when needed. Brendon Schumacher provided two hits, more than Maple Lake combined.

The second game saw the same 1-0 setback, not without the Rockets going down fighting. Brock Deering pitched well, allowing just two hit and one unearned run.

Ninth-grader Tommy Traen broke up Maple Lake’s no-hitter in the last inning with a single to left. Schumacher followed with an infield hit and suddenly the tying and winning runs were on second and third.

“We once again couldn’t come up with a needed hit and came up a little short,” said Griffith. “It was a wonderful team effort against the conference leaders.”

Rockford followed with a double header sweep of Holdingford, winning 4-0 and 7-2. Faue pitched his “unbelievable” third consecutive one-hitter in the first game, striking out seven with no walks. Tommy Reinking had a big hit in the second inning, driving in the first two runs.

Deering pitched the win in the second game, plus collected a total of five hits in the two wins. Schumacher had three hits in the second game. Drew VanDehey pitched the final inning.

Faue won his second straight Central Minnesota Conference Player of the Week award, sparked by his three one-hitters. His season earned run average stands at .017 and he is among the Top 10 Metro Leaders in strikeouts.

The Section 5AA tournament gets started Friday, May 24 with games in both the East and West sub-sections starting at 4:30 p.m. at the home of the higher seed. The ranking was not set before this issue went to press.

The second round is Tuesday, May 28 with games at 4:30 and 7 p.m. at Delano and Loretto. The sub-section title games are at 7 p.m. May 29 at Delano and Loretto.

Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]