April 12, 2012 at 8:35 a.m.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s 12, North Branch 0 Despite some nice weather that has allowed the North Branch baseball team to get actual practice in more than normal this year, it didn’t help them when they took on the Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights. About everything that could go wrong in a game did for North Branch. They didn’t pitch particularly well, they were held to only one hit over five innings and they made five errors in that span on the field.
Meanwhile, the Red Knights, fresh off of a second-place finish in the North Suburban Conference last year, belted out 10 hits, scored 12 runs and committed only one error. North Branch’s biggest scoring threat came in the opening inning. Travis Moreno reached on BSM’s error and then swiped second base. However, senior outfielder Brett Klun struck out and pitcher Thomas Kinsella flied out to center to end the inning. On the bump, Kinsella got the nod and things went south early.
He coaxed a strikeout from the leadoff batter, but then three straight singles, compounded by an error in the outfield on the third single, allowed two runners to score. A follow up double plated another run before Kinsella was able to navigate out of the bottom half of the inning. In the second inning, North Branch went one-two-three in the top half of the frame while Benilde really began to pile runs up. They batted through the order, scoring six runs and chasing Kinsella from the mound after the inning. The senior went two innings, allowing 10 hits and nine runs on 80 pitches. He struck out four Red Knights’ and walked one. In the third, BSM added three more runs to their already big lead, getting to new pitcher Dylan Kraemer. In the fourth inning, Kraemer and Kevin Johnson combined to finally shut down the BSM offense, but by then it was too late. The North Branch offense went down quietly in the top of the fifth inning, evoking the mercy rule with the score standing at 12-0.
“We gave up some hits, but we didn't help ourselves out too much defensively,” skipper Steve Christensen said after the contest. “Thomas threw a lot of strikes and had some great battles with some of the hitters, but when we got the ground balls we needed, we weren't able to get the outs.” North Branch committed five errors on the day. “We'll need to improve on all facets of our game, I think that showed,” Christensen added. “The guys know what they need to do, and we'll work harder to improve our skills.”
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