Baseball: Warriors' miscues plague them in loss to Duluth East

Brainerd hosts Duluth East Friday, May 12

Brainerd's Cayden Brown fields the ball against Duluth East on Friday, May 12, 2023, at Brainerd.
Brainerd's Cayden Brown fields the ball against Duluth East on Friday, May 12, 2023, at Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — After playing 21 innings Thursday, the Brainerd Warriors played their fourth game in three games against the Duluth East Greyhounds Friday, May 12.

The Warriors jumped to a 2-0 lead after one inning, but the Greyhounds responded with six runs unanswered to win 6-2 at Adamson Field.

“Four games in three days can be tough,” Warriors head coach Trent Grams said. “We were more mentally unprepared today. Too many little things mentally happened with the mistakes whether it was before the ball was hit to us, or after. Duluth East took advantage of it and they deserve all the credit.”

Brainerd sophomore Braxton Tautges got his first varsity start and pitched 6.1 innings. He finished with five strikeouts, allowed seven hits and six runs. The Warriors committed three errors in the field.

“Braxton was with us all summer and we know what he can do,” Grams said. “He pitched a few live bullpens for us this spring, also. We were very confident in his ability to pitch well and he did. We just didn’t play very well behind him.”


In the bottom of the first, the Warriors strung together three straight two-out singles — the third being a two-run single by Brody Lund. Lund finished with two hits for the Warriors.

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“The runs in the first inning were a spark,” Grams said. “After 21 innings last night and thinking the kids were down and maybe a little out of it, it was good to see them respond with two quick runs in the first inning.”

Duluth East tied the game in the third after a double and single led off the inning. With runners on the corners and no outs, the Greyhounds’ Tim Hudoba executed a safety squeeze to drive in the first run.

The other run in the third came on an error by Brainerd shortstop Eli Hoelz.

Duluth East grabbed the lead in the sixth. The rally started on an error by third baseman Cayden Brown followed by a single to put runners on first and second.

A passed ball advanced the runners to second and third and the Greyhounds’ Charlie Sutherland ripped a two-run double to give his team the lead.

The Greyhounds led off the seventh with two base hits. Dylan Manchester got an RBI on a groundout and a balk scored another run for the Greyhounds to make it 6-2.

“Adversity is going to happen a lot in baseball,” Grams said. “We need to just have a better approach before the adversity comes and a stronger approach after it hits us. In any sport that you play, those mental blocks are going to happen, it’s just about how you respond.”


Joe Nick got the start for Duluth East and struck out six in five innings. Jack Teachworth earned the win and struck out two in two innings of relief.

With the score tied, the Warriors got a runner to third with one out in the fourth inning, but couldn’t score. Hoelz got on with a two-out single in the fifth inning, but was caught stealing on the next pitch to end the threat.

Teachworth sent down the Warriors 1-2-3 in both the sixth and seventh innings.

Isaac Hanson, Jon Benson and Keaton Lingenfelter all hit singles for the Warriors along with Lund and Hoelz.

Brainerd drops to 5-8. The Warriors have four games scheduled for next week, which starts Monday, May 15, at home against Sauk Rapids.

Brainerd plays at Sauk Rapids Tuesday, May 16, and hosts a doubleheader with St. Cloud Thursday, May 18.

“We want to go on a run starting Monday. We have Sauk Rapids back-to-back, but Monday is the most important day,” Grams said. “We are going to push the reset button and come out and have a good day.”

Duluth East 6 8 1

Brainerd 2 6 3

WP: Jack Teachworth. LP: Braxton Tautges. 2B: DE-Charlie Sutherland, Dylan Cole, Isaac Lisi.

Duluth East 6, Brainerd 2

Key: Duluth East capitalizes on Brainerd’s miscues to get the win.
Overall: Brd 5-8, DE 3-8.
Next: Brainerd hosts Sauk Rapids 5 p.m. Monday, May 15.


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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