Blue Devils take three out of four
Statistical oddities are part of the allure in the game of baseball and the Riverland Blue Devils pulled off a rare sweep of a tripleheader on Saturday at the old college field.
Riverland beat Fergus Falls in the first game of the weekend crossover tournament against teams from the northern part of the state. The Blue Devils then took a pair of games from Vermilion, but lost on Sunday in the rematch with Fergus Falls.
In the first game on Saturday afternoon, the Blue Devils knocked the ball around and routed the Fergus Falls Spartans 12-1 in five innings.
Fergus Falls then beat Vermilion 10-3 in the next game of the tourney. The day concluded with Riverland wins of 13-1 and 12-2 over Vermilion. Fergus Falls capped off the weekend with a 6-3 win over Riverland on Sunday.
Jordan Mondeel, an Albert Lea graduate, set the tone for the Blue Devils in the opener with a leadoff double in the bottom of the first to ignite a three-run rally. Mondeel later had another double and scored a run in the fourth inning.
This would be more than enough run support for pitcher Tyler Jones (1-2), who went five innings for the win with eight strikeouts. He didn't walk anybody and didn't allow an earned run.
"Jones looked good on the mound and got out of a couple of jams," Riverland coach Scott Koenigs said. "That was his first win of the season, but he's only got a 3.00 ERA. Tyler did a nice job of mixing up his pitches."
Kyal Williams powered the Blue Devils to a nine-run rally in the bottom of the fourth. With Mondeel on second base and Kyle Young on first, Williams blasted a three-run homer to get the big rally rolling. The ball cleared the fence in right-center.
"I got one of those off-speed pitches in the previous at-bat, so I knew what to expect," Williams said. "It felt good to extend my arms on the swing and I was happy to see the ball go out."
Sweep of Vermilion
After the win in their first game, the Blue Devils came back later in the day to record the doubleheader sweep of Vermilion. Riverland scored seven runs in the bottom of the first inning and won easily by the 10-run rule.
Mike Tindal, an Austin High alumnus, showed off his skills in the two games against Vermilion. Tindal scored two runs in the first game and came back with three hits in the late affair.
Staked to an early 7-0 lead, Williams cruised to the mound win in the first game against Vermilion. He had four strikeouts in four innings of shutout work on the hill.
"We swung the bats pretty well and the hitters got some of their timing down," Koenigs said. "We feel that we're one of the best teams in the state and it's fun to see the guys score so many runs."
Matt Boswell also had impressive hitting statistics in the two-game sweep of Vermilion. Boswell had a double and scored two runs in the first game. He added two more doubles and drove in four runs in the late win.
"I stayed back on the pitches and tried to drive the ball the other way," Boswell said. "That allowed me to get a couple of hits to the opposite field."
In the late game, it was a hitting display for former Austin Packers. Tindal got the start in left field and had a double, plus scored a run in the lopsided win.
Jacob Hines, a former teammate of Tindal's at Austin High, now plays for Vermilion. Although his team didn't fare very well, Hines hit his first career home run in the bottom of the second inning. He had two hits in the loss.
That would be about all the highlights the Vermilion hitters got off Riverland starter Adam Carroll, who went 5 2/3 innings for the mound win.
Carroll gave up the solo shot to Hines and allowed on other run in the bottom of the fourth. The rest of the time, Carroll dominated the opposition batters with nine strikeouts in the win.
"I was excited to get the start and the guys played great defense behind me," Carroll said. "I was hitting the spots and trying to do what I could to get the win."
Despite the series of lopsided wins on Saturday, the Blue Devils couldn't finish with a win. Fergus Falls scored three early runs in Sunday's game and got a split with Riverland in the weekend series.
Jamie Adams had three hits in the loss. Mondeel had another solid game for the Blue Devils with a pair of hits and drove in a run. Reece Steckler added two hits in the loss.
Brad Winkelman (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season on the mound for the Blue Devils. He gave up five earned runs and had three strikeouts in the setback.
"Fergus came ready to play and we didn't," the coach concluded. "They made some outstanding defensive plays that decided the game. It was not a good day from some of our top hitters. Our 2-5 hitters only had one hit in the game. Our top hitters were only 1-for-15 in meat of order."
Riverland (8-9) plays a home doubleheader against Western Wisconsin Technical College on Thursday.
Riverland:Jordan Mondeel 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Kyle Young 0-for-2, walk, run; Renne Araujo 0-for-2, walk, run; Kyal Williams 2-for-3, HR, run, 4 RBI; Chris Caldwell 0-for-0, 2 runs; Matt Boswell 2-for-3, 2B, 2 runs; Brad Winkelman 1-for-2, 2B, walk, run, 2 RBI; Reece Steckler 1-for-2, walk, run; Chris Anderson 1-for-3, run, RBI; Aaron Fischer 0-for-1, HBP, run, RBI.
WP:Tyler Jones 5 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 HB, 8 K.
Riverland:Caldwell 1-for-2, HBP, 2 runs, RBI; Young 1-for-1, run; Mike Tindal 0-for-1, HBP, 2 runs; Araujo 2-for-2, walk, 2B, run, 2 RBI; Winkelman 0-for-2, RBI; Boswell 1-for-2, walk, 2B, 2 runs, 3 RBI; Adam Carroll 0-for-1, walk, HBP, run, RBI; Braden Hunkins 1-for-2, HBP, HR, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Shane Barry 0-for-2, HBP, run, RBI; Jamie Adams 0-for-1, 2 HBP, run, RBI.
WP:Kyal Williams 4 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K. RP: Matt Cheesman 1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K.
Riverland:Mondeel 2-for-5, 3B, run, 3 RBI; Tindal 3-for-4, 2B, walk, run, RBI; Araujo 0-for-3, 2 walks, run, RBI; Williams 2-for-3, 2 walks, RBI; Caldwell 0-for-0, SB, 3 runs; Dalton Woellert 0-for-1, 3 walks, 2 runs; Boswell 2-for-3, 2 2B, run, 4 RBI; Anderson 0-for-3, walk, run; Andrew Schunck 0-for-3; Steckler 1-for-1, RBI; Adams 0-for-4, 2 runs.
WP:Adam Carroll 5 2/3 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9K. RP: Michael Osmundson 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K; Jon Mittag 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K.
Riverland:Adams 3-for-3, 2B, RBI; Mondeel 2-for-3, walk, RBI; Hunkins 1-for-3; Steckler 2-for-3, 2B, run; Anderson 1-for-3, run; Araujo 1-for-4, run.
LP:Brad Winkelman 4 2/3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 3 K. RP: Osmundson 2 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K.