BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Rockford’s attempt to make up ground in a postponed by bad weather baseball season took another step backwards when more games were washed out last week, including makeup games.
Following Monday’s reported wins the Rockets had a few more double headers planned, but managed to move Thursday’s games against Pierz to Friday when winning two more Central Minnesota Conference games, 7-6 and 4-0.
“It was the first sweep over Pierz in the past 15 years,” said coach Randy Griffith. “It was an exciting finish and a hard-fought win. With the wins we climbed to an impressive 7-2 conference record.”
George Faue pitched the first game, striking out nine and walking just two batters, yielding five earned runs. Rockford watched a 6-2 lead slip away when Pierz rallied to tie at 6-6 in the top of the fifth inning.
Brock Deering scored what turned out to be the winning run on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Faue finished off Pierz in the sixth and last frame. Brendon Schumacher had two hits, drove in two runs and scored twice to pace the offense.
In the second game, Deering pitched a masterful 4-hit complete game shutout, while striking out eight and walking none. He only faced four hitters above the minimum. Griffith said Deering kept the Pierz hitters at bay the entire game.
Kyle Bode knocked in two key runs in the fourth inning with a single, while Faue and Drew VanDehey also drove in runs. Tom Traen scored twice.
Nick Tully is batting .522, followed by VanDehey .440, Thomas Reinking .350 and Aaron Pietsch .304. Deering is 3-0 with an earned run average of 0.82 in 17 innings. Faue has worked 28 innings and is 3-2 with a 1.25 ERA and has 38 strikeouts.
Another busy week is scheduled, however Monday’s double header was washed out. Rockford will try to play at Maple Lake Friday, May 16 in a battle of league leaders. Maple Lake is 6-1 in the league and Rockford is 7-2 in second place.
The Rockets will play at West Lutheran Monday, May 19, at Mound-Westonka Tuesday, May 20 and at Dassel-Cokato, 7 p.m. May 22 to end the regular season.