By Jake Schroer
Crow River News Sports
The Albertville Villains and Rogers Red Devils locked up for two games on Wednesday and Sunday.
In the first game, the Villains won a very tightly contested game by a score of 1-0. Henry Berning threw a four hit shutout.
On Sunday, the Villains got on the board early due in part to some miscues by the Red Devils. A walk and a bobbled ball at first base set up a scoring situation for Albertville. Jeff Peterson drove in the game’s first run in the second inning.
Missed opportunities plagued Rogers early, as they failed to score after loading the bases in the second inning. The Villains managed to take advantage of their scoring chances, as Mark Zinken doubled home a pair of runs to make it 3-0 in the third.
Rogers loaded the bases again in the third inning. Andrew Wilmot picked up an RBI on an infield single to get the Red Devils on the board, but the Villains escaped with no more damage.
Zinken picked up another RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. A sacrifice fly scored a second run in the inning for the Villains. Rogers picked up a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Brad Koltes, who had four hits on the day, drove in another run to restore the lead.
Rogers responded with a pair of runs in the sixth inning to bring the score within two runs at 6-4. The score was the same in the ninth inning as Rogers tried to rally by loading the bases one more time. However, Rob Fodness hit a soft line drive to end the game.
Villains catcher J.T. Solokowski said that the team is still a work in progress, but he is starting to see some of that progress.
“We’re getting more of our guys here now, so it’s more of a team, now.”
Red Devils manager Aaron Cook said that part of his team’s struggles are due to losing a big hitter with a rotator cuff injury as well as not doing some of the little things.
“We’re kind of struggling right now with the clutch hitting, so that’s something that hopefully we can address soon,” he said.
Cook told his players that they are giving other teams too many chances with miscues. He hoped to shore up his defense before the next game.
The Villains have a long layoff before returning to action on July 13 against Monticello. The Red Devils play their next game July 6 against Forest Lake.