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River Rats edge Pirates

The Hudson River Rats improved to 2-1 in St. Croix Valley Baseball League play, handing the South Division-leading Prescott Pirates their first loss of the season, 1-0, on a chilly Sunday afternoon at Grandview Park.

The River Rats resume CVBL play Friday night at Wakanda Park in Menomonie against the Menomonie Eagles (4-2). They return home to host the New Richmond Millers (4-2) Sunday at 1 p.m. at Grandview Park.

River Rats pitcher Brian Sparstad threw a complete game, two-hit shutout in Sunday's win over Prescott. Sparstad threw 156 pitches in the nine-inning victory, allowing just two doubles to Pirates outfielder Alex Ross, to pick up his third win of the year. He struck out eight and walked five to earn his fist complete-game victory of the season.

Pirates pitcher Nick Johnson was equally impressive, allowing four hits and three walks in eight innings of work.

Sparstad and Johnson were locked in a scoreless duel until the bottom of the eighth, when the River Rats scored an unearned run to provide the margin of victory.

Hudson shortstop Andy LaBrosse led off the inning with a four-pitch walk and reached third on a pair of wild pitches with Jason Hollar at the plate.

After Hollar went down on strikes for the first out of the inning, Johnson attempted to pick off LaBrosse at third, but the throw went off Prescott third baseman Jim French's glove and into foul territory, allowing LaBrosse to scamper home with the only run of the game.

LaBrosse had two of the River Rats' four hits in the win and stole two bases in addition to scoring the game-winning run in the eighth.