Blue Devils take two from West

Published 5:58 pm Saturday, April 23, 2011

Riverland first baseman Reece Steckler tries to knock down an errant throw on a pick-off attempt during the third inning in game one against Minnesota West Saturday afternoon. - Eric Johnson/

Patience usually pays off at the plate and Riverland freshman Matt Boswell used that phrase literally to boost the Blue Devils.

As RCC was struggling to adjust to a slower pitcher, Boswell waited for the ball on a 2-2 count and came up with a walk-off double to the left field wall to give the Blue Devils a 3-2 win in eight innings over Minnesota West (1-11 overall, 0-4 MCAC South) in a doubleheader at Seltz Field Saturday.

“It was a great feeling (on the game winner),” Boswell, who is from Austin, Texas, said. “I was hoping it would go over, but the wind kind of kept it up in the air. I’ll take a game winner any day for the team.”

Riverland pitcher Kyal Williams delivers in the second inning of game one against Minnesota West Saturday afternoon. - Eric Johnson/

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RCC (21-10 overall, 3-1 MCAC South), which won the nightcap 5-0, trailed 2-0 in the first game after five innings, but Boswell hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to make it 2-1 and Jordan Mondeel ripped a two-out double off the right field wall to tie the game.

Renne Araujo led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and Kyal Williams bunted him to second. Brad Winkelman came up with a single to left field to set up Boswell’s game winner.

“We were so far in front of him, because he was a slow pitcher and we finally had to sit back on him,” Boswell said of West’s pitcher.

While Riverland’s offense produced just eight runs in the doubleheader, its pitching dominated. Starters Kyal Williams and Michael Osmundson allowed just one earned run and struck out a combined 26 hitters in 15 innings of work.

“I was just trying to throw strikes,” said Osmundson, a freshman from Mapleton, Minn. “I know I have a good defense behind me and Aussie called a good game. Us pitchers know we have to bear down and do what we do.”

Riverland stranded six runners in the first game and 10 runners in the second game.

“We’re not playing great, but it’s difficult when you start to compare this team to last year’s team and the team from the year before,” RCC head coach Scott Koenigs said. “We’re going to be in closer games and we don’t have as good a hitting team as we had last year. I think we can still be a pretty good hitting team, but we’re not putting it all together right now.”

The Blue Devils took a 2-0 lead in the nightcap when Braden Hunkins singled in a run in the third. RCC added three more runs in the fifth when Hunkins had an RBI groundout, a run scored on a passed ball, and Jamie Adams hit a sacrifice fly.

Osmundson allowed just three hits in the win.

“He’s a really composed young guy,” Koenigs said of Osmundson. “Nothing really bothers him and he’s a baseball guy. He knows what he has to do and he’s got a great moving fast ball. He’ll be a valuable pitcher for us for two years.”

RCC will play at Rochester for a doubleheader on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

“Those will be big games,” Koenigs said. “They’re a lot like us and they don’t put a lot of runs on the board and they’ve got good pitching.”

West 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 — 2 6 1

RCC 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 — 3 9 2

RCC pitching: Kyal Williams (W), 8 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 2 R, 1 ER, 13 K

RCC hitting: Kris Caldwell, 1-for-2, 2 BBs; Kyle Young, 1-for-4; Renne Araujo, 1-for-4; Kyal Williams, 2-for-3, double; Brad Winkelman, 1-for-4, R; Matt Boswell, 2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs; Jordan Mondeel, 1-for-3, double, RBI; Reece Steckler, 0-for-2; Jamie Adams, 1-for-3; Mike Tindal, R; Andrew Schunck, 0-for-1; Aaron Fischer, R

West 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 2

RCC 0 1 1 0 3 0 X — 5 7 0

RCC pitching: Michael Osmundson (W), 7 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 13 K

RCC hitting: Mondeel, 2-for-4; Young, 0-for-1, RBI, 3 BBs; Araujo, 0-for-4; Williams, 0-for-2, 2 HBPs; Winkelman, 1-for-3, R, HBP; Boswell, 1-for-3, 2 R, BB; Braden Hunkins, 1-for-4, 2 RBIs; Steckler, 1-for-2, R, BB; Adams, 1-for-3, RBI; Tindal, R