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Baseball: Walks, errors plague Warriors

Brainerd hosts Moorhead and Rogers.

An outfielder dives for a catch.
Brainerd's Riley Derosier makes an out against Rogers Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Brainerd High School.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Despite scoring five runs in the bottom of the seventh, the Brainerd Warriors left the bases loaded and fell 16-15 to the Moorhead Spuds in the first game of a round-robin tournament Saturday, May 14, at Adamson Field.

Carter Springer, who had a run-scoring double earlier in the seventh, hit a weak ground ball to third as the Warriors’ comeback came up short.

After a scoreless sixth, the Spuds plated three in the top of the seventh to take a 16-10 lead. Carson Zimmel led off the inning with a solo home run off Brainerd’s fifth pitcher of the game Brody Lund.

Needing six runs to tie in the bottom of the seventh, the first seven Warrior batters reached base.

Riley DeRosier and Springer ripped back-to-back doubles. Matthew Karlson had an infield single and a Mitchell Brau walk loaded the bases for Isaac Hanson.

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“We knew we had a chance to win the game,” DeRosier said. “We just needed someone to spark it and we got it going a little bit.”

Hanson hit an infield single, which scored Springer and made it 16-12. Cayden Kleffman reached on an error by the shortstop which scored a run and made it 16-13. Jon Benson was hit by a pitch to make it 16-14.

An RBI groundout by Lund, who went 3-for-4 with a walk, made it 16-15 with runners on second and third and one out.

With the infield in, Adam Jensen hit a hard ground ball to shortstop for the second out. The Spuds then intentionally walked DeRosier, who finished with three hits, to set up Springer's groundout.

“They fought hard and when you get down in baseball it’s really easy to go in the tank, but we didn’t,” Warriors head coach Trent Grams said. “Even down six in the last inning. To put up five and have the bases loaded with the chance to win. That’s what we ask for.”

Hanson started for the Warriors and allowed five runs in the top of the first. Hanson had a chance to get out of the first inning scoreless, but issued a bases-loaded walk. The Spuds then made him pay with back-to-back two-run singles to make it 5-0.

The Warriors came back with three runs in the bottom of the first. Brau led off with a walk, he walked four times against Moorhead, and Hanson cranked a two-run home run over the left field fence.

Later, Benson doubled and his courtesy runner Alex Helmin scored on a Lund single.

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Moorhead put another five-spot in the third to take a 10-3 lead.

Walks were a problem for the Warriors as they issued 15 total. Hanson walked four. Jack Schafer replaced Hanson and faced just six batters, four of which he walked.

“It’s just concentration and focus and trusting your stuff,” Grams said. “A lot of it is mental. If we can convince ourselves we got a good seven defensive players behind us and challenge every hitter, that's the mental piece.”

Hanson was responsible for nine runs while Schafer was charged with one. Sawyer Hennessey closed out the top of the third for the Warriors with a strikeout.

Brainerd baseball player hits the ball.
Brainerd's Cayden Kleffman hits the ball against Rogers Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

The Warriors worked some walks of their own in the bottom of the third to plate five runs and cut the Spud lead back to two.

After three walks loaded the bases, Lund walked to score a run. Jensen then hit an infield single followed by another bases-loaded walk.

With Springer at-bat, a wild pitch scored Lund and a Springer single scored Jensen to complete the five-run inning.

The Warriors chased Moorhead’s starter Gavin Quade in the third inning after the Springer single. Quade walked six over 2.1 innings.

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The Warriors had a chance to score more than five runs in the third inning with Hanson at-bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Hanson saw 10 pitches from Moorhead’s reliever Keo Allbritton, including a line drive down the third-base line that went foul. The at-bat ended with Hanson popping out to second. It was the first of two innings where the Warriors left the bases loaded.

The teams each scored two runs in the fourth. The Spuds benefitted from a leadoff double who advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a double play.

Another walk followed by a double made it 12-8 Spuds.

The Warriors' two runs in the fourth came on an error which scored Lund, who singled with two outs and stole second. DeRosier then doubled to score Jensen.

“I felt like I was really getting on my front foot today,” DeRosier said. “I was seeing the ball well. I finally got on top of the ball and hit the ball well.”

Hennessey issued two walks in the fifth and one run scored for Moorhead on a single to make it 13-10.

Allbritton got the win for the Spuds and pitched 3.2 innings of relief.

Game Two

After Moorhead walked off Rogers for a 6-5 win to leave Brainerd with two wins, the Royals earned an 11-2 win against the Warriors.

Jensen started for Brainerd and didn’t get hit hard, but still was tagged with four runs in the second and in the third as Rogers took an 8-0 lead. Of the eight runs Jensen allowed, none were earned as Brainerd was charged with five errors.

“We struggled defensively in this game and that is why we lost,” Grams said. “We gave them more outs than three.”

The Warriors got two runs back in the bottom of the third on a Benson two-run triple.

Lund came in and pitched three scoreless innings.

Schafer pitched the seventh inning and was tagged with three runs. Rogers’ Cavan Banks hit a two-run home run in that inning.

The Warriors fall to under .500 at 5-7 and play two games at home Tuesday the first being against Sauk Rapids and the second against St. Michael-Albertville.

“Offense, defense and pitching we need to get it together in those three phases,” Grams said. “With our tough section and tough schedule from here on out, all phases have to be better for us to win.”

Game One

Moorhead 16 14 3

Brainerd 15 12 1

WP: Keo Allbritton. LP: Isaac Hanson. 2B: Brd-Riley DeRosier (2), Carter Springer, Jon Benson; M-Wyatt Tweet, Carter Heinsch, Justin Stalboerger. 3B: M-Justin Stalboerger. HR: Brd-Isaac Hanson, M-Carson Zimmel.

Game Two

Rogers 11 11 1

Brainerd 2 5 5

WP: Joey Koch. LP: Adam Jensen. 2B: Brd-Adam Jensen, R-Noah Gordon (2). 3B: Brd-Jon Benson. HR: R-Cavan Banks.

CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or conrad.engstrom@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.

Warriors drop 2

Key: Walks haunt Warriors against Spuds. Errors plague Warriors against Royals.

Overall: Brd 5-7.

Next: Brainerd hosts Sauk Rapids 4 p.m. and STMA 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 16.

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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