By Brady Ambrose
With only two letter winners returning from a year ago, and nearly the entire first half of the season gone, the Caledonia/Spring Grove baseball team finally got on the field with a pair of home games last week. Coach Dave Konz and his young squad played host to Fillmore Central on Thursday and then hosted Wabasha/Kellogg Friday, but came up short in the win column, losing to the Falcons 1-0 and dropping the home opener to Fillmore Central 8-4.
Thursday the Warriors put together a solid effort in the home opener and took a 4-2 lead into the top of the fifth inning with Brandon Storlie holding the Falcons in check through the first four innings. FC took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, but the Warriors answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Harrison Speltz and Mason DeMorett both singled, Kyle Sorenson walked and TJ Schultz reached on an error with Speltz scoring on the play. Austin Bauer then hit into a fielder’s choice as DeMorett was thrown out at home, and Storlie laced a two-out double to center field with Sorenson and Schultz both scoring for a 3-2 C/SG lead.
The Warriors tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth with Sorenson walking and a bunt single from Schultz with Sorenson moving to third on the play. Storlie then singled, scoring Sorenson for a 4-2 lead after four innings.
The game then unraveled for C/SG in the top of the fifth. A walk followed by three straight base hits and another walk tied the game at 4-4. Another single, the fourth one of the inning, put FC up 5-4, and the Falcons’ Niko Anderson followed with the fifth base hit of the inning for a 6-4 lead. Kai Lidstrom, who came on in relief, finally got the first out of the inning with a strikeout, but another base hit by Dan Gatzke scored the fifth run of the inning for FC. There were two more runs scored for an 8-4 lead before the Warriors got out of the inning with a ground out. Lidstrom struck out Clay Olson to end the fifth.
FC’s Nick Ebner gave up a walk to Jake Dolle to start the bottom of the fifth, but Ebner picked off Dolle at first and got Speltz to fly out and struck out DeMorett in the bottom of the fifth. Caledonia/Spring Grove went down in order in the bottom of the sixth and put one runner on in the bottom of the seventh when Tanner Langen singled. Josef Pettit grounded out to second base and Dolle grounded out to short to end the game.
Konz said, “The difference in the game was one inning. It was a combination of walks, hits and mental errors that resulted in giving up a six-run inning. It was our reaction to situations that we haven’t had much of a chance to rep because we have been inside this whole season.”
Storlie led the offense, going 2×4 with 3 RBIs, but also took the loss for the Warriors.
On Friday C/SG put together another solid effort but came up just short in a 1-0 loss against Wabasha-Kellogg. “This was a very well-played game,” Konz said. “The pitching and fielding for both teams was very good for early in the year. It came down to Wabasha being able to string two hits together to win the game.”
Sorenson started the game for the Warriors and Lidstrom came on in relief after five innings. The duo kept C/SG in the game when they held Wabasha-Kellogg scoreless until the top of the seventh inning. Unfortunately the Warriors also couldn’t push across a run, and the teams entered the final inning knotted up at 0-0. With one out W-K’s Ben Glomski doubled to right and moved to third base on Andrew Krey’s grounder to short. Jethro Roemer then singled to left to score Gomski for the only run of the game. “Our goal is to make improvements from game to game and we did that today even though we came out on the losing end,” Konz said.
Brandon Storlie collected the only hit of the game off W-K’s Will Greenheck, a double as the Falcon senior tossed a one-hitter for the win.
The Warriors traveled to Southland Monday, hosted GMLOK Tuesday and will travel to Chatfield Thursday.
CALEDONIA/SPRING GROVE 0
W-K 000 000 1 — 1 3 1
C/SG 000 000 0 — 0 1 1
Pitching: WK—Greenheck; C/SG—Sorenson, Lidstrom (6). WP—Greenheck (8k, 0w). LP—Lidstrom (2k, 0w).
Leading hitters: WK—Glomski 2-2 (2b); C/SG—Storlie (2b).
Records: WK 4-0, 4-0; C/SG 0-2, 0-2.
FILLMORE CENTRAL 8,
CALEDONIA- SPRING GROVE 4
FC 020 060 0 — 8 8 1
Caledonia 030 100 0 — 4 7 2
Pitching: FC—Ebner; C—Storlie, Lidstrom (5). WP—Ebner (7k, 3w). LP—Storlie (6k, 9w).
Leading hitters: FC—Gatske 2-3; C—Storlie 2-4 (2b).