April 28, 2011 at 8:49 a.m.

Wildcats get a crash course in small ball from Hylanders

Wildcats get a crash course in small ball from Hylanders
Wildcats get a crash course in small ball from Hylanders

Columbia Heights 2, Chisago Lakes 1

The Wildcats managed just three hits and struck out 12 times as they lost to the Hylanders 2-1 on Thursday, April 21 at Chisago Lakes High School.

The Hylanders scored to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. In the bottom of the third, Tyler Rivard led off with a walk and Scott Hammer singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. Danny Kimlinger doubled over the right fielder's head, scoring Rivard and moving Hammer to third. It looked like the Wildcats were set up for a big inning.

But the next three batters struck out to end the threat and keep the score tied at 1-1. In the top of the fourth, the first Columbia Heights batter reached on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly to put the Hylanders up 2-1. The Wildcats didn't threaten much after that. They struggled to put the ball in play as two Wildcat batters struck out in each of the last three innings of the game.

Travis Ongstad started, went 5 2/3 innings and took the loss. He struck out five and walked six, but allowed just one earned run. Kyle Buchanan pitched the last 1 1/3 innings and allowed no runs.

The lack of offensive production was frustrating for coaches, fans and players alike. "We're not even putting the ball in play," said Wildcat assistant coach Jay Brown. "Striking out that much makes it way too easy on the opposing defenses. They had a decent pitcher who managed to strike out a dozen of our guys. Buck came in at the end of the game and shut them down with his slow curve, but it wasn't enough because we couldn't put anything on the board."

Robbinsdale Cooper 19, Chisago Lakes 5 (5 innings)

The first ten Robbinsdale Cooper batters reached base and scored in the third inning as the Hawks crushed the Wildcats 19-5 Monday, April 25 at Chisago Lakes. "Cooper swung the bat well," said Wildcat assistant coach Jay Brown. "They hit it in the gaps, down the lines and over the fences. There were doubles, triples and home runs. It was like watching batting practice." The game was shortened to five innings because of the ten-run rule.

The only bright spot for the Wildcats was Tyler Rivard, who hit a double over the center fielder's head that drove in two runs. He finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs. The Hawks pounded out 21 hits. They were led by senior star Max Murphy, who finished the game 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs.

The Wildcats play at Irondale next Monday, May 2 at 4:30 p.m. They will return home on Wednesday, May 4 to take on Benilde-St. Margaret's at 4:30 p.m.


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