Riverland picks up its first win

Riverland baseball coach Dave Meyer erased the zero from his record as his team got its first win of the season with a split in Sunday's doubleheader against Bethany Lutheran of Mankato.

The Blue Devils were close to a sweep, but defensive miscues led to a 5-3 loss in the opener. But Riverland came back to give its coach his first win with a convincing 11-1 rout in six innings of the late game.

Jamie Morrison of Riverland capped off the wild second game with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to invoke the 10-run rule.

"It feels real good to get that first win," Meyer said. "Our bats came alive in the late game and we finally broke through into the win column."

In the first game, Mike Nastav scored all three runs for the Blue Devils, but it wasn't enough. Two key errors in the top of the seventh led to three unearned runs for Bethany and that was the difference in the opener.


Riverland pitcher Clint Ripley went the distance with five strikeouts, two walks, six hits, and two earned runs. Nastav hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth to give the home team the lead, until Bethany rallied in the top of the seventh.

"They had three unearned runs in the first game and Clint should have won," Meyer said. "The defense broke down at the end, but we hung with them and looked so much better than in the first two outings."

Jeff Geisler threw the whole six innings in the late-game win for Riverland. The line on Geisler was: two strikeouts, two walks, three hits allowed. He gave up his only run on a balk.

Meanwhile, the Bethany pitchers struggled throughout the second game. After the starter for Bethany threw a pair of wild pitches in three innings, reliever Tom Metzger came on. Metzger proceeded to throw three wild pitches in the final innings and Riverland turned it into a rout.

"We spent four hours in practice on Saturday afternoon taking grounders and it paid off with five double plays," Meyer said. "We turned two in the first game and three in the second game. That type of defense turned things around.

"We played like we knew how in the second game. The guys had worked way too hard to be winless. They answered the call and I finally got career coaching win No. 1."

There were plenty of hitting heroes in the late affair. Josh Kunze, who was 2-for-3 in the opener, went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI in the late game. Jeff Kvam was 2-for-4, with an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base.

Jake Frey hit a double and scored a run, Sean Breslin was 2-for-3 with a run scored, two RBIs, and a stolen base. Josh Raymaker got a hit and scored two runs, Derek Bonser had a pair of RBIs and broke it open with a key hit in the third inning.


Riverland scored runs in every inning of the late game. The final blow by Morrison was a line-drive shot that landed just to the right of the scoreboard in left field.

Riverland baseball (1-5 overall, 1-3 MCCC South) hosts Rochester CTC in a makeup doubleheader today at 2 p.m.


Bethany 011 000 3 -- 5 5 1

; Riverland 010 101 0 -- 3 6 4

; Ripley and Kunze; Van Loe and Fisk.

HR -- RIV, Nastav.



Bethany 100 000 -- 1 3 2

; Riverland 223 112 -- 11 12 2

; Geisler and Kunze; Jennings, Metzger (4) and Fisk.

2B -- RIV, Kunze (2), Frey; HR -- RIV, Morrison.

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