By Adam Gruenewald
Central baseball opened the season in stellar fashion, going 2-1 in three games.
The Raiders defeated Lester Prairie on the road last Tuesday, 19-2 in five innings, beat Sibley East at home on Thursday, 8-5, and lost to Maple Lake in eight innings on Friday, 3-2.
Central’s game at Tri-City United on Monday was postponed to April 27.
Central started the season with a convincing win over Lester Prairie last Tuesday, 19-2.
The Raiders scored eight runs in the first inning and kept the pressure on throughout, according to head coach Jon Wroge.
“It was a good first game for us because I got everyone in,” said Wroge. “Now we had all of our varsity jitters out of the way.”
Cade Zellmann, Jordan Harms, Reed Wischnack, Logan Herrmann, and Alex Pederson all threw an inning apiece for Central and combined to walk just one hitter.
Offensively, Carter Clemensen had three hits, Andrew Heuer collected a couple of hits and sophomore Carter Milbrett notably smashed a double off the wall to score two runs in his first varsity at bat.
“That’s something a kid is going to remember for the rest of his life so that’s cool,” said Wroge.
Central picked up their second win of the season and first Minnesota River Conference win with a 8-5 victory over Sibley East.
The Raiders did open up a 8-0 lead with a run in the second, three runs in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth but errors contributed to a 5-run sixth inning for the Wolverines.
“We just didn’t make plays and gave them six outs,” said Wroge. “We played well, but the defense we have to clean some of that stuff up.”
Zach Stockman gave up five hits, struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter to earn the win and Jordan Harms got the save with a strikeout and a walk in the seventh.
Offensively, Reed Wischnack went 3-for-4 while Carter Clemensen went 2-for-4 and Stockman went 2-for-4 with two doubles. Newcomer and senior Kellen Erpenbach, who will still play golf this season as well, went 1-for-3.
Central dropped their first game of the season to a Section 5AA opponent in Maple Lake on Friday, 3-2 in eight innings.
Boosted by a leadoff double and a leadoff single by Carter Clemensen, the Raiders scored runs in both the first and third innings.
“We had some other chances but just didn’t capitalize on them,” said Wroge.
Maple Lake scored one in the fourth on an infield hit and a passed ball, one in the sixth on an infield hit and an error and one in the eighth to get the win.
“We just got to play defense a little bit better,” said Wroge.
Clemensen started the game for Central, throwing 4 and 2/3 innings, while Jordan Harms threw three innings as the strong pitching continued for Central as their pitchers have struck out 22 and walked three in the early part of the season.
The Raiders (2-1, 1-0) next face Tri-City United on Thursday at Siebert Field, before hosting LeSueur-Henderson on Monday, April 17, and then traveling to Jordan on April 20 and Southwest Christian on April 21.
Follow Adam Gruenewald on Twitter @adamgruenewald.