Patriots drub Redhawks, face A’s next
By Ben Pherson
During practice, Rochester Patriots coach Terry Heiderscheit often uses Alex Peterson as an example for his younger players.
Peterson has always been one of the hardest workers on the team. He puts in the extra time, and now his added effort is paying off.
Peterson’s hot hitting continued Thursday at Century High School. He went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the Patriots in a 10-2 win over the Rochester Redhawks during the First District Division I Legion baseball playoffs at Century High School.
The Patriots advanced to face the Rochester A’s at 11 a.m. Saturday. The winner advances to Sunday’s 1 p.m. district championship game, back at Century.
Heiderscheit said the standout effort by Peterson wasn’t surprising.
"Petey’s been doing well all year," Heiderscheit said. "He puts in a lot of extra time swinging the bat, hitting the ball off the tee. He’s our leading hitter; he’s hitting about .430 this summer. He’s worked hard and done a great job all year. Even in the spring, he worked hard, and it’s really paid big dividends this summer."
Peterson’s two hits Thursday included a triple in the third inning and a two-run home run in the seventh. He scored two runs.
Andrew Nelson also swung a hot bat Thursday, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
While Nelson and Peterson were doing damage at the plate, Joe Moen was on the hill keeping Redhawks batters off balance. He tossed eight innings, striking out 10, while allowing one earned run on six hits.
"Petey and Nelson had a heck of a day today, beating the ball around," Moen said. "I had a week off before this game, so my arm felt really good. I had good command of all four of my pitches. My changeup was really breaking. I knew if I threw strikes, we’d win the game."
The Patriots also took advantage of several Redhawks’ miscues. They committed two errors and surrendered six walks.
Redhawks manager Tom Senne said he could tell his team didn’t have it even before the first pitch was thrown Thursday at Century.
"It didn’t seem like we were ready to play right from the start," Senne said. "Then a couple of things didn’t go our way, and it just waterfalled down on us. That’s baseball. We’ve just got to pick it up and be ready to go (today)."
The Redhawks will face the winner of today’s 11 a.m. game between Austin and Winona at 2 p.m. The winner moves on to Saturday.
"You need to have leaders step up, and we didn’t have that. Hopefully, (today) someone will take the whole team under their wing," Senne said.
Senne said his team will need to take a different approach at the plate if it wants to keep playing baseball. Of the Redhawks’ 10 strikeouts against Moen, five were looking.
"We were watching good pitches, and that’s frustrating," Senne said. "Moen was right in the zone all day. We have to have a different approach; it looked like we were intimidated."
Garrett Benson took the loss on the mound for the Redhawks. He tossed 41⁄3 innings, allowing eight runs (three earned) on nine hits.
Kelby Halling had the lone Redhawks hitting highlight. He ripped a home run deep over the fence in left field in the fifth inning. Halling also scored the Redhawks’ final run in the ninth on Rannon Arch’s RBI single.
With Moen pitching eight innings and Andrew Roble closing out the game in the ninth, the Patriots still have plenty of pitching remaining for the rest of the First District tournament.
"We’re in good shape for the rest of the weekend," Heiderscheit said. "The good thing for us is our kids are older out there on the mound. They’ve thrown plenty of innings; it would be tough to throw a sophomore out there and ask him to throw that many innings. But our guys are ready; if they need to go nine, they’ll go nine."
The Patriots improved to
23-10, while the Redhawks dropped to 19-12.
PATRIOTS 10, REDHAWKS 2
Redhawks 000 010 001 — 2 7 2
Patriots 104 120 10x — 10 11 0
WP — Joe Moen. LP — Garrett Benson.