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River Rats split SCVBL openers

Hudson River Rats outfielder Derek Krumrei (5) beats the tag by River Falls Fighting Fish catcher Trevor Gutting to score a run in the second inning of the Rats' 9-7 loss to the Fish in a St. Croix Valley Baseball League game Sunday in River Falls. Photo by Bob Burrows

The Hudson River Rats defeated the St. Croix Falls Fighting Bandits, 12-2, Saturday before dropping a 9-7 decision Sunday to the River Falls Fighting Fish in its first two St. Croix Valley Baseball League games of the season over the weekend.

One week earlier, the Rats went 2-1 at the Plum City Memorial Day Tournament to capture third place.

The Rats, now 3-6 overall, 1-1 in SCVBL play, will continue their league schedule with a pair of home games this weekend -- Saturday, June 6 against the Osceola Braves and Sunday against the Prescott Pirates. Both games start at 1 p.m. at Grandview Park.

Saturday in their SCVBL opener against St. Croix Falls, Jason Bast went 4-for-6 with three RBI and three runs scored and Joel Schaffer was 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and a runs scored as the Rats disposed of the River Bandits 12-2 in eight innings.

Chris Klein also had two hits and two RBI while starting pitcher Brian Sparstad worked six innings to pick up his second win of the year. Sparstad allowed six hits and two earned runs while striking out three and walking three. Davis Lenzen gave up two hits with a walk and a strikeout over the final two innings.

Sunday in River Falls, lead-off batter Jason Hollar had four hits, including two doubles, with a walk, an RBI and four runs scored but the Rats ran into a hot-hitting Fish team in a 9-7 loss.

Hollar also played error-free defense while recording five putouts in center field.

Catcher Brent Blegen was the only other Rats' player to record a multi-hit game with two singles, two walks and an RBI. Third baseman Craig Jilek drove in a pair of runs with two sacrifices and three walks.

Russ Jiskra took the loss on the mound, allowing nine hits and six earned runs while walking two and striking out two in three innings of work. Lenzen and Brian Rudesill also saw action on the mound for Hudson.

Nathan Brom led the Fighting Fish with three hits, two RBI and a run scored while Sam Giliuson had three hits and a run scored. Every hitter in the Fish lineup scored one run each.

In Plum City over Memorial Day weekend, the Rats opened tournament play with a 7-2 win over the Bay City Bombers before losing to the Menomonie Eagles, 7-3. They bounced back to defeat the Elmwood Expos, 11-0, in five innings to take third place.

Schaffer and Paul Ruppert both homered in the win over Bay City while Travis Borowicz tossed a one-hit shutout in the third place game against Elmwood.

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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