Grand Forks Central looks like a team happy to be outside at Kraft Field.
Scoring 27 runs in two games this week in Central's home park, the Knights kept the bats hot Tuesday night in an 8-2 win over Grand Forks Red River.
The Knights rapped out 15 hits-all singles-against the Roughriders. Will Eagleson and Brandon Holt led the Central attack with three hits apiece.
"We're hitting the ball really well right now," Central coach Tim Gregoire said. "That was our strength last year, and we were hoping it would roll over this season with the seniors we have."
Central's offense has scored 45 runs through four games, despite spending much of April indoors as Grand Forks slowly warmed enough for the field to be ready for play.
"The kids worked hard in the gym," Gregoire said. "It's a product of the work they put in while they waited for the weather to cooperate."
Central pitcher Zach Vodden threw all seven innings, allowing five hits, two runs (one earned) and struck out five while walking two.
Vodden, a 6-foot-1 senior righthander, threw 96 pitches-60 for strikes.
"He had good command of the zone," Red River coach Mark Varriano said. "Hats off to those guys. They put the ball in play, found the holes and capitalized."
Vodden's only real jam was the sixth inning when the Riders loaded the buses trailing 5-2 but Vodden picked up a groundball to second for the third out to end the threat.
"Just my fastball, really, hitting the spots I needed to hit, making them roll it over and giving my defense a chance," Vodden said.
After a dicey sixth, the Knights responded with three insurance runs in their half of the inning. Junior first baseman Joey Grabanski had a run-scoring single and two more runs came in on an error.
Red River's top four hitters in the lineup were the only four to pick up hits. Dane Montgomery, Ryan Muizelaar and Parker Monette each had one hit for Red River, while cleanup hitter Zach Carolin was 2-for-3.
"We've got to put the ball in play a little better," Varriano said. "But one game doesn't make a season. We're not playing for April 23, we're playing more for May 23. We have time. Not a lot, but we have some time."
GF Central 8,
GF Red River 2
RED 100 001 0 -- 2 5 0
GFC 300 203 x -- 8 15 1
WP-Zach Vodden; LP-Brody Sorenson
Highlights-RR: Zach Carolin 2x3, 2B; GFC: Will Eagleson 3x5, Brandon Holt 3x4, 2 runs, 2 RBI, Joey Grabanski 2x3, Cole Wigestrand 2x4, 2 RBI