Blue Devils split with RCTC
By Scott Kolb
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
ROCHESTER — A first-game loss in extra innings left the Riverland Blue Devils with a split of Sunday's baseball doubleheader against Rochester Community and Technical College.
After battling back from an early deficit in the opener, the Blue Devils had nothing to show for their efforts in a 7-6 loss in nine innings. RCTC scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth to hand Riverland its first loss of the season in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division.
Riverland came back with a vengeance and won 14-2 in the second game to gain the split of the divisional twinbill. With the win in the late affair, the Blue Devils are now 5-1 in the MCAC South.
"We had the first game won several times, but we had a guy called out for leaving third too early in the top of the seventh," Riverland coach Scott Koenigs said. "There were a lot of close calls that didn't go our way. We had to regroup after the disappointing loss."
Mitch Jaeger started on the mound for the Blue Devils, but didn't figure in the final decision. Brad Winkelman replaced Jaeger on the hill amid a two-rally by RCTC in the bottom of the fourth. Winkleman pitched through the sixth inning.
Brian Voigt came on to try and close it out in the seventh, but RCTC tied the game with a run in the bottom of the frame. Voigt (6-1) then took the loss after the decisive rally by the RCTC Yellowjackets in the bottom of the ninth inning.
"RCTC has a good team, they put the bat on the ball against Brian and came up with those two late runs," Koenigs said. "Brad Kohn was their starting pitcher, and some of our guys struggled against him. He was effective and hit the spots with six strikeouts. After the tough loss, I was happy with the way we responded in the second game,"
Upset by their close loss in the first game, the Blue Devils put the late game away in the first inning. The Blue Devils jumped all over RCTC pitcher Brett Gwaltney for eight runs in the top of the first inning.
The hitters took out their frustrations from the earlier loss by bashing the ball out of the park. Kyle Young, Voigt, and Winkelman all hit home runs in the lopsided win. The visitors hit a total of five homers on the day with Voigt and Kyal Williams both going deep in the first game.
"We played hard and swung the bats well in the late game," the coach concluded. "Our hitters came back and put it to them in the second game. We have some guys banged up, so this will be a tough week with a lot of games."
Riverland (26-4) plays a make-up doubleheader from Saturday this afternoon at Dakota County Technical College in Burnsville. This will be the start of eight games for the Blue Devils over the next week.
RCTC 7, Riverland 6
Riverland ....... 010 111 101 — 6 8 2
RCTC ..... 200 200 102 — 7 12 2
Riverland:Kyle Young 2-for-5, 2 runs; Kyal Williams 1-for-2, 3 walks, HR, 2 runs, RBI; Brian Voigt 3-for-3, walk, HR, 3 runs, RBI; Derek Hahn 0-for-1, 3 walks, HBP, RBI; Dustin Fritz 1-for-5, RBI; Reece Steckler 1-for-4, RBI; Jeff Huth 2-for-4, run, 2 RBI. LP: Voigt 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K. SP: Mitch Jaeger 3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K. RP: Brad Winkelman 2 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 K.
Riverland 14, RCTC 2
Riverland ....... 802 04 — 14 15 0
RCTC ..... 100 10 — 2 8 0
Riverland: Shawn Pape 2-for-2, 2 walks, 3B, 3 runs, RBI; Young 3-for-3, walk, 2B, HR, 2 runs, 3 RBI; Voigt 3-for-3, walk, HR, 3 runs, RBI; Winkelman 2-for-4, HR, 2 runs, 3 RBI; Hahn 1-for-3, walk, run; Renne Araujo 2-for-4, run, 2 RBI; Fritz 2-for-3, run, RBI. WP: Tyler Jones 5 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 6 K.