The Alexandria baseball team could not hold on to a late lead with Class 4A’s Moorhead in town on Friday night in an 8-6 loss to the Spuds in eight innings.
It was a dramatic finish with plenty of turns, but Moorhead (3-6) scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to win it. The Spuds trailed 5-4 going into the top of the seventh before a walk, a double and a single with two outs led to two runs and a one-run lead.
The Cardinals got that run back in the bottom of the seventh. Nate Hammerback tripled with one out, and Shay Endres drove him in with a sacrifice fly to the outfield.
The Spuds loaded the bases in the top of the eighth and drove in runs on a walk and a hit-by-pitch to score their two runs. Alexandria went down in order in the bottom of the inning.
JD Hennen and Brock Lerfald combined to strike out 15 Moorhead batters, but the Spuds also walked eight times and collected 10 hits.
Hammerback was 2-for-3 at the plate for Alexandria with two RBIs. Devan Swerman added two hits, and Elijah Holthaus went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
Things do not get any easier for the Cardinals as they travel to third-ranked Bemidji on May 4 for a doubleheader against the 8-0 Lumberjacks that starts at 4 p.m.
MOORHEAD 110 200 22 - 8 10 2
ALEXANDRIA 201 002 10 - 6 10 1
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - JD Hennen - 3.2IP, 5H, 4R, 1ER, 5BB, 7SO; Brock Lerfald - L, 4.1IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, 3BB, 8SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Brock Lerfald - 1-3, 2B, 1 run, RBI; Elijah Holthaus - 3-4, 2B, 1 run; Devan Swerman - 2-4, 1 run; Nate Hammerback - 2-3, 3B, 1 run, 2 RBI; Shay Endres - 0-2, BB, RBI; Devin Cimbura - 0-4; Dayton Downing - 0-3; Nate Knoll - 0-1; JD Hennen - 1-4, 1 run; Caleb Runge - 1-4, RBI; Aiden Staples - 1 run
Fifth-ranked Ashby still unbeaten
Ashby is following up an impressive season in boys basketball by carrying it over to the diamond with a lot of the same athletes.
The Arrows are ranked No. 5 in the April 29 Minnesota Baseball Coaches Association polls. They are 8-0 now after dominating Hillcrest in 11-0 and 20-0 games on Friday. Ashby has outscored opponents 79-7 in those eight games.
“Our bats came alive today and we had some great outings from guys that don’t see a lot of time on the mound,” Ashby head coach Jared Larson said. “We also got a lot of guys into the games and it was a great experience for them.”
Friday’s wins marked the fourth and fifth shutouts of the season. Carson Spangler got the win on the mound in the 11-0 game as he allowed just three hits and no walks, while striking out eight. The Arrows broke open the game with a five-run third inning where Torin Olson, Hunter Norby, Evan Paulson and Mattson Hoff each drove in runs.
Ashby had 14 hits in that game and 15 more in the 20-0 outburst.
The Arrows scored 12 runs in the fourth inning during that 20-0 win. Paulson, Brodie Ecker, Carson Spangler, Carter Spangler, Olson, and Jake Norby all drove in runs. Carter Spangler had three hits in the game to help lead the offensive outburst.
Paulson got the win on the mound. He allowed just two hits and a walk over three innings, while striking out five.
Ashby welcomes in Brandon-Evansville for a doubleheader on Tuesday night.