Riverland stuck in losing skid
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 30, 2002
The Ridgewater College baseball team leads the MCCC Southern Division standings for a reason, but Riverland coach Dave Meyer is convinced it's because his Blue Devil team has allowed it.
The Warriors (22-9, 16-2) outhit Riverland by one in Monday's doubleheader in Willmar, but host Ridgewater pushed across three more runs to complete the season sweep, 2-0 and 4-3.
"It was a sad one to watch, they didn't show up to play today," Coach Meyer said. "I shouldn't have to say anything to get them up for this game."
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Ridgewater pitcher Andy Garry got his second win in as many games against Riverland, going the distance for a 2-0 shutout in the opener. Garry struck out seven, allowed five hits and no runs, and his defense committed just one error.
"He kept hitters off-balance, he mixed his off-speed stuff in pretty well to get us to chase pitches," Meyer said. "I'll tip my hat, he threw well, but not well enough we couldn't hit him."
Riverland's five hits resulted in no runs and seven runners left on base. The Blue Devils (12-10, 11-7) stranded the bases loaded in the fourth and left two baserunners in scoring position in the fifth.
"Everytime we got somebody on we'd advance them and they'd be there, and we couldn't get the hit," Meyer said.
Sean Breslin threw six innings for the complete-game loss for Riverland, allowing five hits, two walks and two hit batsmen. He struck out two as both runs came earned.
Riverland finally got on the scoreboard in the nightcap, chasing across two runs in the fourth to cut Ridgewater's lead in half, 4-2. Jacob Frey doubled and Nate Vollbrecht followed with a single, and both runners came around on Luke Larson's double to the gap.
Vollbrecht added Riverland's final RBI with a single in the sixth, scoring Jamie Morrison who had led off the inning with a single and a stolen base. Vollbrecht was the only Blue Devil with two hits in the nightcap, a 4-3 Riverland loss.
Clint Ripley walked three, allowed eight hits and one earned run as four Devil errors loomed large on the final score.
"Anything and everything we tried to get going just got shot down," Meyer said. "Our pitching was right there today. Breslin threw a gem, and so did Ripley. They threw two very good ballgames, but we couldn't win."
The loss was the fourth for Riverland over their last six games, including three straight in MCCC play. The Blue Devils continue their road trip today with a league doubleheader at Bethany Lutheran College, starting at 1 p.m. in Mankato.
Call Ross Thede at 434-2234 or e-mail him at :mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.