BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Slow but sure Rockford is winning baseball games during a season of washouts.
Since opening the season April 11, the Rockets had played just three other games until squeezing in a double header win over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa last Thursday. The rest of the week was rained out.
Rockford started this week with a split of a double header against Kimball Monday, losing the first game 5-4 and dominating the second 8-0.
The wins over BBE were by 5-0 and 5-3. In the first game, senior George Faue pitched a complete game 2-hitter, walking two and striking out four. Senior Nick Tully had two hits and drove in two runs as the Rockets scored four runs in the sixth inning to put the game away.
In the second game, senior Brock Deering pitched a 3-hitter to pick up the win, while sophomore Kyle Bode came in the last inning to get the save. Senior Aaron Pietsch and Tully each had two hits to pace the offense, while junior Tommy Reinking scored two runs.
In the first game against Kimball, Faue had to leave the game with a blister on his finger after pitching the first two innings. Rockford left the bases loaded in the last inning.
Rockford made errors on double play opportunities in the second and third innings, leading to four total runs. Kimball scored the game-winner in the fifth.
Tully continued his hot hitting with two more. Sophomore Tom Traen had three hits and drove in two runs. Relief pitchers included Body, Tully and junior Drew VanDehey. Coach Randy Griffith said all pitched well, but the defense did not make enough plays.
Deering led the way in the second game by pitching a complete game shutout with nine strikeouts. Griffith says with the one-two punch of Faue and Deering the Rockets are hard to beat. VanDehey had three of his team’s 10 hits, including a triple. Deering also tripled.
The Rockets improved to 5-2 in the Central Minnesota Conference. Rockford next plays a home double header against Pierz, starting at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 8. The team also is home to Maple Lake Monday, May 12 and against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Tuesday, May 13. Next week the team plays five games in five days.