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Raiders baseball team rolls to 3 straight wins

Raider senior Tyler Freer slides safely into third base as Adam Dardine advances to second on a sacrifice bunt by Derek Krumrei in the second inning against Chippewa Falls Thursday at Grandview Park. Freer, who was pinch running for Tyler Dierke after Dierke was hit by a pitch, got up and scored on the play and Dardine moved to third when the Cardinals overthrew first base. Photo by Bob Burrows

The Raider baseball team improved to 10-3 overall, 5-0 in the Big Rivers Conference, with three more wins last week, including a 4-3 victory over ninth-ranked Chippewa Falls on Thursday.

The other Raider wins came against Mahtomedi last Tuesday by a score of 15-5 in five innings, and 6-2 over South St. Paul Friday.

"It was a long week for us, but a good week," Raider head coach Ryan Huppert said. "We won three big games against some good competition. Mahtomedi was ranked fifth in the metro ranking starting the week and Chippewa was ranked ninth in the WBCA rankings. South St. Paul is always a quality team as well, so to get the three wins was a good step in the right direction for us. We'll continue to work hard and improve because the upcoming schedule is only going to get tougher for us."

That schedule includes five straight road games, beginning Thursday, May 14 at Menomonie (1-5 BRC). Saturday, May 16 the team travels to Ellsworth for a nonconference matchup with the Panthers before playing a doubleheader Monday, May 18, at Eau Claire North (4-1). The Raiders will visit Chippewa Falls (4-3) Thursday, May 21, before hosting Como Park Friday, May 22, at 4:30 p.m.

The Raiders are the only undefeated team in the BRC with Eau Claire Memorial a half-game behind in second place at 5-1.

Last Thursday at home against Chippewa Falls, Hudson scored single runs in each of the first four innings and pitcher Tyler Dierke struck out nine Cardinals in a 4-3 Raider win.

Dierke helped himself at the plate as well with an RBI double while Chase Graskewicz had a hit, RBI and was walked twice intentionally. Andy Edholm reached base three times with two hits and a walk while Derek Krumrei had a hit and scored a run, and Taylar Zarfos contributed a double.

The Raider defense committed just one error, which led to one unearned run for the Cardinals. Dierke allowed six hits and two earned runs while striking out nine and walking just one to earn the complete game win.

Last Tuesday against Mahtomedi, the Raiders pounded out 14 hits and also reached base with four walks and two hit batters in a 15-5, five-inning win.

Edholm had the big blast -- a grand slam in the fourth inning. It was one of three hits that resulted in six RBI for the junior. Graskewicz was 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored and Kory Koller had two hits, an RBI and scored three runs while Matt Drew and Zarfos each contributed a pair of hits and a run batted in and Jake Hayes had a hit, RBI and run scored.

Jeff Schmitz earned the five-inning complete game win, allowing five earned runs on seven hits while striking out one and walking one.

Friday at South St. Paul, the Raiders scored five runs in the top of the fourth on their way to a 6-2 win.

Graskewicz had a hit and two RBI while Drew and Krumrei each had a double, RBI and scored a run. Hayes doubled and scored a run while Luke Hanson plated a run with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze, one of two sac bunts for the junior in the game.

Cory Larson picked up the win on the mound, allowing one earned run on five hits while striking out four and walking two in five innings of work. Edholm pitched two innings of scoreless ball in relief, allowing one hit with one strikeout and one walk.

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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