Baseball: Bad 1st inning costs Warriors against Sauk Rapids

Brainerd hosts Sauk Rapids May 17

High School baseball
Brainerd's Sawyer Hennessey pitches against the Sauk Rapids Storm Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at Adamson Field.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — One bad inning did the Warriors in Tuesday, May 17, against Sauk Rapids.

The Storm scored nine runs in the top of the first and it was all they needed to grab a 9-3 Central Lakes Conference win at Adamson Field.

Mitchell Brau started on the mound and only finished 0.1 innings and left the bases loaded for Sawyer Hennessey with the Warriors already down 5-0.

Brau gave up three hits and walked four after getting the first batter of the game out on a flyout.

Sauk Rapids tallied three hits in a row including a run scoring single and double to take a 2-0 lead. It was followed by three straight walks and an error to make it 4-0. Another walk loaded the bases.


Hennessey came in and hit the first batter he faced to score a run and then walk the next, which scored another. A sacrifice fly made it 8-0 with all runs charged to Brau. The ninth run came home on a wild pitch.

After the nine-run inning, Hennessey recorded five straight zeros. He pitched 5.2 innings and allowed two hits and gave up one unearned run.

“He did a great job of just keeping them at nine,” Warriors head coach Grams said. “We couldn’t let them get any higher than that. He pitched shutout baseball and I’m proud of what he did today.”

The Warriors got on the board in the fourth inning after Cayden Kleffman walked and scored on a Brody Lund sacrifice fly.

Kleffman got on base all four times with two singles, a walk and an RBI double in the seventh.

“He’s barrelling it up and he had a good weekend too,” Grams said. “Hopefully, it’s contagious for some of our other hitters, but you know we have to handle adversity better.”

The Warriors also scored in the sixth on a Jon Benson sharp single up the middle, which scored Isaac Hanson.

Left hander Cullen Posch started for the Storm and pitched five innings and allowed two runs with five strikeouts. Terrence Moody then closed it out for the Storm and struck out four in two innings.


Adam Jensen also had a two-hit game for the Warriors.

Brainerd out hit the Storm 8-5 despite losing the game by six runs.

“It was just one big inning where they scored nine and sometimes the winning team is going to score a lot of runs in one inning,” Grams said. “But six of those runs got on with a walk or hit batter or error. We were fairly clean the rest of the game, but that’s why you play all seven.”

This was the first of two games for the Warriors who hosted St. Michael-Albertville after Sauk Rapids. Check the extra E-edition page in Wednesday’s digital paper for that game story.

Sauk Rapids 9 5 2

Brainerd 3 8 2

WP: Cullen Posch. LP: Mitchell Brau. 2B: Brd-Cayden Kleffman; SR-Luke Pakkala.

Sauk Rapids 9, Warriors 3
Key: Nine-run first inning leads Sauk Rapids to victory.
Conference: Brd 5-6, SR 6-4.
Overall: Brd 5-8, SR 7-5.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or Follow on Twitter at

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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