Card baseball: Alexandria splits with Otters, takes doubleheader from SpudsCardinals look ahead to playoffs next week
The Alexandria baseball team erupted for a season high in hits and runs scored in game two of a doubleheader to salvage a split against Fergus Falls last Thursday.
The Cardinals lost 7-1 in the opener before dominating the Otters 23-1 in the nightcap. Alexandria finished with 22 hits and six walks in the game after being held to seven hits in game one.
Erich Murphy led an Alexandria offense that saw 11 players get at least one hit. Murphy had three doubles in the game and finished with five RBIs. Nick Knoblach and Aaron Billberg had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored each.
Patrick Leary, Ben Allen, Logan Serum, Grant Becker and Jordan Domine had two hits apiece. That group combined for six RBIs and 15 runs scored.
Lost amid that offensive explosion was the second-straight solid start by sophomore Blake Stockert. Stockert was one out away from a five-inning no-hitter when the Otters got an infield single to break it up. That was the only hit Stockert allowed. He struck out 10 and walked three.
Senior AJ Anderson could not hold down the Otters’ lineup in the opener. Fergus Falls got to the senior right-hander for six earned runs before he was pulled after five innings. Anderson walked five and gave up eight hits. He struck out six. Aaron Billberg worked the final two innings, allowing one run on a walk and two hits.
The Cardinals could not overcome an early 4-0 deficit. Their best chance at climbing back in the game came in the fifth when they loaded the bases with one out. The Otters got out of that jam without any damage done.
Domine led the offense with two hits. Anderson went 1-for-3 with the lone RBI for his team, while Knoblach, Serum, Jeff Swedberg and Grant Becker all added hits as well.
FERGUS FALLS 100 00 – 1 1 6
ALEXANDRIA 502 5(11) – 23 22 3
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Stockert – W, 5IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 3BB, 10SO
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Murphy – 3-4, 3 2B, BB, 2 runs, 5 RBI; Knoblach – 3-4, BB, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Billberg – 3-4, BB, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Leary – 2-3, 2 BB, 2B, RBI, 4 runs; Allen – 2-5, RBI, 3 runs; Serum – 2-5, 3B, 3 runs, 3 RBI; Becker – 2-5, RBI, 3 runs; Domine – 2-2, BB, 2B, 2 runs; Anderson – 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI: Christian Anderson – 1-2, 1 run, 2 RBI; Ty Kisthart – 1-2, 1 run, RBI
FERGUS FALLS 201 120 1 – 7 11 1
ALEXANDRIA 000 100 0 – 1 6 0
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING – Anderson – L, 5IP, 8H, 6R, 6ER, 5BB, 6SO; Billberg – 2IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 2SO
ALEXANDRIA HITTING – Knoblach – 1-4; Domine – 2-3, 1 run; Anderson – 1-3, 2B, RBI; Serum – 1-3; Swedberg – 1-3; Becker – 1-1, BB, 2B
ALEXANDRIA 14-5, MOORHEAD 13-1
In what could be pivotal for the Section 8AAA seedings, the Cardinal baseball team swept a double-header from Moorhead Friday at Knute Nelson Memorial Park, winning 14-13 and 5-1.
The Cardinals moved into the sixth spot in the section standings with a 7-7 record against 8AAA opponents, putting them in the upper half of the 12-team division.
Alexandria traveled to Willmar Monday night and hosted Brainerd Tuesday night to finish out the regular season. Seedings are scheduled for Friday, with playoff action beginning Monday.
Not only did the Cardinals have to face the heat and the wind in the first game of the double-header against the Spuds, they had to battle a 10-1 deficit after an inning and a half.
Alexandria rose to the occasion, scoring six runs in the bottom of the second – all with two outs.
A two-out single by Nick Knoblach drove in Beau Backhaus to get the rally started, and Jordan Domine doubled home courtesy runner Grant Becker and Knoblach, cutting the deficit to 10-4.
Run number five came across as Ben Allen delivered an RBI single, bringing in Domine, and A.J. Anderson followed with a single to score Allen.
“Backhaus hit a single down the line to left to score Anderson, and the Cards were right back in the game,” said head coach Russ Hinrichs.
The Redbirds added four more runs in the bottom of the third and three in the fourth to give them a 14-11 lead and, after allowing the Spuds two runs in the sixth, Knoblach slammed the door on the Moorhead offense to give Alexandria the win.
Knoblach picked up the win in five innings as he allowed just three earned runs.
Domine was 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles to pace the offense.
“Nick Knoblach continues his amazing hot streak at the plate with three singles, and both A.J. Anderson and Beau Backhause added two hits apiece,” said Hinrichs.
The nightcap proved to be a pitcher’s duel as Backhaus got the start on the mound, holding Moorhead to just one unearned run in four innings.
Alexandria picked up a single run in the first as Knoblach singled, then scored on Allen’s single.
Neither team was able to score until Alexandria put four runs on the board in the fifth to give reliever Mitch Thompson the win.
Allen drove in another run as he singled home Knoblach and Thompson doubled home a pair of runs before Logan Serum added an infield single to score Becker.
“In the top of the sixth, the game was stopped due to lightning,” said the Cardinal coach. “Both teams waited for a good hour until the game was called as an official game with the Cards winning 5-1.
Knoblach again had a great plate appearance as he went 3-for-3. Serum and Allen each added two hits.
MOORHEAD 370 102 0 13-15-2
ALEXANDRIA 164 300 X 14-13-4
PITCHING – Nick Knoblach, WP.
HITTING – Jordan Domine 4, Knoblach 3, A.J. Anderson 2, Beau Backhaus 2, Gideon Burnham 1, Ben Allen 1.
MOORHEAD 001 00 1-7-0
ALEXANDRIA 100 04 5-12-2
PITCHING – Mitch Thompson, WP.
HITTING - Knoblach 3, Logan Serum 2, Allen 2, Domine 1, Backhaus 1, Thompson 1.