Anchors split doubleheader with Express
Alexandria, Minn. – The Alexandria Blue Anchors split a doubleheader with the Eau Claire Express Friday night at Knute Nelson Memorial Park. They won game one 8-0 and lost game two 9-4. Their record is now 17-18 in the second half and 29-41 on the season.
The Blue Anchors got on the board early in the first. Steve Sada walked to start the inning and Dane Hutcheon singled to put two on. A double play moved Sada to third and he came in on a two-out RBI single from Ricky Sanchez. Matt Duce followed with a single and Sanchez came in to score and make the score 2-0 on a base hit from Matt Hopfner.
Alexandria added to their lead in the second. With Sada on second, Hutcheon connected for his second homer of the season and the Anchors led 4-0. Josh Merrigan worked a two-out walk and Sanchez crushed his ninth home run of the year to left-center making the score 6-0.
Sanchez came up big again in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer. Hopfner reached on an error and moved to second base. After a strikeout, Kyle Richardson delivered an RBI single scoring Hopfer and the Anchors led 8-0.
Knutson (6-2) finished the game with five scoreless innings and one hit allowed with five walks and he struck out six Eau Claire batters. Ryan Froom finished the game throwing two innings allowing no runs on two hits with one strikeout.
The Express finally got on the scoreboard in the third against Josh Baumgart. Sam Hurt walked to leadoff the inning and after a fly out, Kyle Marinconz went deep putting them ahead 2-0.
Anthony Mrosla doubled to start the bottom of the third. Dane Hutcheon drew a one-out walk and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. With two outs, Ricky Sanchez beat out an infield single cutting the deficit down to 2-1.
Eau Claire got the run back in the fourth against Kody Knaus. Michael Papierski singled with one out and would score on a double by Joe Gillete extending their lead to 3-1.
Alexandria got on the scoreboard again in the fourth. Matt Hopfner led off with a double. Drew Fearing singled and the throw back to the infield got away bringing home Hopfer. After a pitching change and with Fearing on third with two outs, Steve Sada doubled home Fearing to tie the game at three.
Tom Watson came in to pitch the fifth inning. He loaded the bases with no outs and a fielder’s choice from Sam Mrstik scored Marinconz. Sada made a great diving stop at second off the bat of Teddy Cillis but he threw the ball away and in brought in Travon Benton for the second run of the inning. With two in scoring position, Papierski hit a sac fly scoring Mrstik and putting the Express ahead 6-3.
Eau Claire added some insurance in the sixth. Hurt singled to start the inning. Brady Burzynski bunted for a single and an error by Watson moved Hurt to third. Another single by Marinconz scored Hurt making it 7-3.
Kyle Richardson hit his fourth homer of the season in the sixth cutting the deficit to 7-4.
Mitch Larson pitched the final frame for the Blue Anchors and he allowed a two-out, two-run double to Burzynski giving the final score 9-4
Baumgart pitched three innings giving up two runs on two hits and three walks with two strikeouts. Knaus pitched one inning giving up a run o two hits with two punch outs. Watson (2-3) took the loss pitching two innings giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk with one strikeout. Larson pitched one frame allowing two runners to score on two walks and a hit with one batter struck out.
Minnesota Baseball Academy Player of the Game (Game 1) – Ricky Sanchez (DH) – Sanchez finished the night 3-for-4 with two bombs and four RBI with three runs scored. He leads the two squad with 10 homers.
Minnesota Baseball Academy Player of the Game (Game 2) – Ricky Sanchez (1B) – Sanchez stayed hot in game two by going 2-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. He finished the doubleheader by going 5-for-7.
Notes: The Blue Anchors start their last series of the season against the Rochester Honkers on Saturday…Fans can enjoy $1 off Summer Shandys all game long thanks to Beverage Wholesalers…It’s Father & Daughter Date Night and there will be a photo station to remember the evening…The game, starting at 5:05 pm, can be seen live at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/nwl.
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The Alexandria Blue Anchors are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 22nd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, www.blueanchors.com.