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Raiders baseball team wins four of five heading into final week

Hudson first baseman Stef Smith tags out an Eau Claire North baserunner after fielding a bunt in the top of the third inning of the Raiders' 4-3 loss to the Huskies last Friday at Grandview Park. Photo by Bob Burrows

The Raider baseball team has won four of its last five games heading into the final week of the regular season.

Hudson defeated Rice Lake, 8-3, last Tuesday before dropping a one-run decision, 4-3, to Eau Claire North Friday. The Raiders came back to sweep a doubleheader Saturday at Onalaska, 5-1 and 12-8, before defeating South St. Paul, 9-4, in eight innings this past Monday, May 21.

Hudson, now 6-5 in Big Rivers Conference play, 12-8 overall, hosted Chippewa Falls in the regular season finale Tuesday, May 22. They begin WIAA regional play Tuesday, May 29, against an opponent yet to be determined.

Last Tuesday at Rice Lake, Brett Steinwagner had a two-run triple to highlight a four-run fifth inning and Miles Lewis drove in a pair of runs with a double and sacrifice fly in an 8-3 Raider win.

Josh Evenson was 3-for-3 at the plate with a double, RBI and run scored, and Austin Evenson scored twice and drove in a run while Todd Mork added an RBI triple.

Mike Hommes earned the win on the mound, after taking over in the second inning for Steinwagner. Kellen Pearson pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the save.

Friday at home against Eau Claire North, the Huskies scored an unearned run in the fifth to snap a 3-3 tie and escape with a 4-3 victory.

Hommes tripled to lead off the bottom of the first and scored on a sacrifice fly by Pearson to tie the score, 1-1, and the Raiders took a 2-1 lead in the second on a double by Mork and a base hit by Lewis.

Eau Claire North scored two in the third to take a 3-2 lead, but the Raiders tied it up in the bottom of the inning when Hommes doubled, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a ground out by Pearson.

Neither team scored again until the Huskies unearned run in the fifth.

Steinwagner pitched the first 2 1/3 innings while Pearson took the loss, despite not allowing an earned run over the final 4 2/3 innings. He allowed just one hit while striking out five and walking one.

Saturday at Onalaska, Stef Smith pitched a complete-game five-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader and Steinwagner doubled and drove in three runs in the Raiders' 5-1 victory. Hommes contributed three hits, including a double, and two RBI in the win.

All nine Raider starters had at least one hit and eight Raiders had at least one RBI in a 12-8 victory in the nightcap. Hommes led the charge with three hits, including a triple, four runs scored, one RBI and two stolen bases while Lewis was 3for-4 with three RBI. Pearson had two hits, including a triple, and drove in two runs and Josh Evenson had two hits and two RBI, while Steinwagner had two hits, including double, scored twice and drove in a run.

Hommes earned the win on the mound, allowing two earned runs on five hits while striking out two and walking two in four innings of work. Austin Evenson pitched the final three innings to pick up the save.

Monday against South St. Paul, Josh Evenson pitched all eight innings and the Raiders exploded for six runs in the top of the eighth, highlighted by a two-run homer by Steinwagner, to pull out a 9-4 victory.

Lewis had two hits, including a double, and drove in three runs while Pearson had two RBI.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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