AREA PREP NOTEBOOK: Pitching, defense a successful formula for the Tommies

Because of the wet spring, Thompson hasn't been able to practice fielding on its dirt infield this spring. That hasn't seemed to hurt the Tommies' glovework.

Because of the wet spring, Thompson hasn't been able to practice fielding on its dirt infield this spring. That hasn't seemed to hurt the Tommies' glovework.

Thompson is off to a 6-1 start. A key to the fast start has been a defense that has made no more than two errors in any game and, in four of the wins, has played errorless ball.

"Our pitchers are throwing well,'' Thompson coach Ryam Brantl. "They're good pitchers, smart pitchers. I wouldn't say they're the dominant, overpowering types. We're playing good defense behind them.''

Andy Naas has had the high strikeout total for the Tommies, getting 11 in one game. Other than a 6-0 loss to Midway-Minto, Brantl said, the defense has been good.

"The kids have worked on their fielding on the outfield grass, and they've taken grounders indoors,'' Brantl said. "But those aren't true indicators. They're different from getting outside and playing on a dirt infield.


"Our defense has been a big factor for us. Our pitchers throw strikes. That good defense behind them sure doesn't hurt.''

Jarad Syrstad is 3-0 on the mound for the Tommies. Naas, Connor Weber and Aaron Bratager each have picked up one win.

Glass has hot bat

Robbie Glass' slow start lasted two games.

The Red Lake County baseball standout opened the season by going hitless in five at-bats in a doubleheader against Crookston. Since then, Glass has 17 hits in 26 at-bats, raising his season average to .548.

His pace has been even more torrid of late. After going 4-for-4 on Tuesday against Fertile-Beltrami, the left-handed hitter has hits in eight straight plate appearances.

That Glass is hitting so well is no surprise to Rebels coach Chris Nelson.

"We had three hits total in the doubleheader against Crookston,'' Nelson said. "It was our first day outside. Nobody was hitting well.


"Robbie isn't streaky. He's a consistent hitter. He hits lazers all over the field.''

While Glass leads off in the RLC batting order, the senior has been the Rebels' top power hitter and run producer. Glass leads RLC in home runs (four), extra-base hits (nine), runs batted in (11) and slugging percentage (1.097).

"Robbie doesn't hit towering drives,'' Nelson said. "When he hits a home run, it's a rope over the fence.''

The Rebels are off to a 7-2 start. They're averaging 9.1 runs a game with an offense sparked by the top of the order. In addition to Glass, RLC's most productive hitters have been Skyler Bergeson (.400, 9 RBI), Sam Brule (.389, 1 HR, 10 RBI), Garrett Schmitz (.355, 8 RBI) and Dylan Zutz (.290, 9 RBI).

Slamming brothers

Kyle and Brady Arneson did a match-this routine in a baseball game last week.

In Fosston's 29-0 win against Mahnomen-Waubun, each of the brothers hit a grand slam.

"After Brady hit his, a couple of guys were joking that we should bring in their little brother, Aaron (who was playing nearby in a junior-high game), to see what he could do," Greyhounds coach Ryan Hanlon said.


"It's not that often that you see one grand slam, let alone two in a game. And for both to be hit by brothers, it was very unusual."

Kyle Arneson, the leadoff hitter in the Fosston lineup, hit his bases-loaded home run in the third inning. It was his first homer of the season. Brady got his slam in the fourth inning, his second home run of the season.

"Kyle's was a fly to left-center that was probably wind-aided," Hanlon said. "Brady's was a line drive down the left-field line. He hit it pretty well. It got out in a hurry."

Bases-loaded home runs haven't been that rare for the Greyhounds. In their first seven games, they've hit three, with Garrett Carlin also having one.

Fast start for Burro

Hillsboro eighth-grader Brooklyn Zink is off to a fast start in the long-distance races this spring.

At a track meet Monday in Casselton, Zink won the 3,200 with a time of 12:00.44. That is the fastest Class B time in the state to date, according to statistics reported to the North Dakota High School Activities Association. Her time is nine seconds faster than the second-ranked 3,200 runner.

"It's no surprise with Brooklyn,'' Burros track coach Dan Hoornaert said. "She works at it. She runs cross country in the fall and puts in a lot of miles on her own.


"That time was a little surprising because it's so early in the season. It was the second time she's run the 3,200 this spring. She cut 36 seconds off the first time. It's a big jump, but I figured she'd get down to that (12-minute) range.''

At the state meet last spring, a 12:00.44 time would have been good enough for fourth place in the B girls' 3,200.


Kameron Johnson of the Northern Freeze and Tim Desrosier of Crookston have signed letters of intent to play basketball at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. . . . Thomas Shephard of Valley-Edinburg has made a verbal commitment to play basketball at Northwestern College in St. Paul.

DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to .

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