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Senior High grand slam highlights dramatic win over Red River

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Red River's Dane Montgomery slides safely back to second base as East Grand Forks' Max Christiansen puts the tag on in a rundown in Thursday's game in East Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald2 / 2

Kade Spencer didn't get to see the first over-the-fence home run of his life. He was more focused on getting to second base.

"I thought it was maybe a double,'' Spencer said. "I was worried they might catch it. I was sprinting to second, so I never saw it go out.''

Home run No. 1 of the sophomore's baseball career came in dramatic fashion Thursday. With two out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Spencer hit a walk-off grand slam, rallying East Grand Forks Senior High to a 7-6 win against visiting Grand Forks Red River.

Senior High loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with two walks and a hit batter. Spencer pulled an 0-1 pitch over the left-field fence to clear the bases.

"I've always been more of a singles hitter,'' Spencer said. "I haven't ever hit one over the fence until today.''

It was not only the first fence-clearing homer of his career, but the first homer this season for the 2-5 Green Wave.

"Everyone dreams of that happening,'' Wave coach Anthony Walsh said of the walk-off grand slam. "Not many see it come true. Kade's more of a contact hitter, definitely not the type with explosive power.

"We have to find ways to score more. We can't bank on guys hitting home runs. We're not a power-hitting team. But we'll take (runs) any way we can get them.''

Red River also got its first home run of the season, a three-run shot over the left-field fence by Daniel Pierce to cap a four-run fifth inning.

Jake Hjelle's two-run single in the bottom of the fifth pulled the Wave to within 4-2. After the Riders added two runs in the sixth, a bases-loaded walk drove in a Wave run in the sixth.

The six runs in two innings came after the 0-7 Roughriders totaled nine runs in their first six games.

"We put some nice swings on the ball, better than we have been in our other games,'' Red River coach Mark Varriano said. "But our margin for error is so small because we lack experience. We put way too many people on base.''

Red River pitchers walked six batters and hit two, with three of those baserunners scoring.