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Baseball: Delay works in Spuds' favor

Better late than never. Due to a bus scheduling issue, the Moorhead Spuds left home about an hour late. Then the bus brakes malfunctioned and had to be repaired. Moorhead finally got on the road and arrived in Brainerd about 5 p.m., the scheduled...

Warriors second baseman Logan Madsen fields a ground ball Thursday against Moorhead. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)
Warriors second baseman Logan Madsen fields a ground ball Thursday against Moorhead. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch - Gallery)

Better late than never.

Due to a bus scheduling issue, the Moorhead Spuds left home about an hour late. Then the bus brakes malfunctioned and had to be repaired.

Moorhead finally got on the road and arrived in Brainerd about 5 p.m., the scheduled game start time. The approximate 30-minute delay for the first pitch apparently was worth the wait as the Spuds registered a 7-4 Section 8-3A victory over the Brainerd Warriors Thursday at Adamson Field.

"You get off the bus and try to tell the boys 'Hey you've got to overcome adversity,' and we did what we kind of said. Let's not worry about what just happened," Spuds coach Greg Salvevold said. "Just go out there and play baseball."

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Moorhead 7, Warriors 4

The key: The Spuds ripped 14 hits, including four doubles

Overall: Brd 5-5, M 3-6

Next: Grand Rapids at Brainerd 5 p.m. Tuesday.

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The Spuds cracked 14 hits, nine with two outs, four for extra bases. Zech Klindt finished 3-for-3 and Justin Keller, winning pitcher Alex Erickson, Josh Noenig, Griffin Swenson and Wyatt Hanson each had two hits.

Erickson, a junior right-hander, pitched a complete game to give Moorhead its third straight win following an 0-6 start. Moorhead also capitalized on five Warrior errors that led to six unearned runs.

"That's what wins ballgames, getting those 2-out hits and making the plays," Salvevold said. "The first six games we were 0-6. This is our third win in a row just because we're making plays and we're throwing strikes. We tell the guys to keep the game simple and good things happen."

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Erickson allowed one earned run and seven hits, four of which were doubles. He walked five and struck out two.

"We haven't been supportive of him," Salvevold said. "He goes out, gives up nine unearned runs and gets the loss. He was 0-3 going in. We just weren't making plays for him.

"He's our No. 1 pitcher. He's the guy that's going to toe the rubber. We've got to make plays for him. He's not going to be overpowering, but he throws strikes and he's got a lot of movement on the ball so if he keeps it around the plate good things will happen."

The Brecht brothers - Tristan and Evan - each had two hits for the Warriors, who threw out two runners at the plate, but couldn't overcome the errors as well as stranding five runners in scoring position.

"I don't how many errors we had, but I also know we didn't make a couple plays that wouldn't go in the book as errors, but should have been made and probably both went for base hits," Warriors coach Lowell Scearcy said, "so we've just got to keep working.

"I know we're a better team than what we showed today, but I'm not taking anything away from Moorhead when I say that. They played well."

Trailing 4-2, Moorhead scored three unearned runs in the fifth on Swenson's RBI groundout, an RBI double by Klindt and an error.

Noenig's 2-run double in the sixth gave Moorhead a 7-4 edge. Warrior left fielder Paul Augustinack threw out a Spuds runner with a laser to the plate for the third out.

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RBI doubles by Tristan Brecht and Matt Casperson, a run-scoring single by losing pitcher Jake Meyer and Hayden Bukowski's RBI groundout thrust Brainerd into a 4-2 lead in the fourth.

Swenson's run-scoring single put Moorhead up 2-0 in the third. The Spuds could have scored more if not for right fielder Taylor Streiff's bullet to the plate where Casperson applied the tag to end the inning.

Moorhead 011 032 0 - 7 14 0

Brainerd 000 400 0 - 4 7 5

Moorhead: Alex Erickson and Josh Noenig.

Brainerd: Jake Meyer, Jack Geraets (5), Hanson Devine (6) and Matt Casperson.

WP: Erickson.

LP: Meyer (1-3).

2B: Brd-Paul Augustinack 2, Tristan Brecht, Casperson; M-Eli Johnson, Justin Keller, Noenig, Zech Klindt

SB: Brd-Tory Miller

Sac: Brd-Meyer

RBIs: Brd-Tristan Brecht, Meyer, Hayden Bukowski, Casperson; M-Swenson 2, Noenig 2, Klindt

DP: M 1

LOB: Brd 6, M 9

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at mike.bialka@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark .

Related Topics: BRAINERD WARRIORSBASEBALL
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