GGF-area baseball notebook: Roseau closing regular season on hot streak

Stiff competition has brought out the best in Roseau's American Legion baseball team. Roseau is one of the hot teams heading into the Minnesota Division I District 9 tournament, which begins Wednesday in Perham. Roseau is 12-14 overall, but has w...

Stiff competition has brought out the best in Roseau's American Legion baseball team.

Roseau is one of the hot teams heading into the Minnesota Division I District 9 tournament, which begins Wednesday in Perham. Roseau is 12-14 overall, but has won seven of its last eight games -- a run that includes doubleheader sweeps of district opponents Thief River Falls, Crookston and East Grand Forks.

Roseau's turnaround came shortly after it went 1-3 in the Grand Rapids tournament in the final weekend of June.

"It was stiff competition,'' Roseau coach Mark Cooper said. "We only won one game, but when the kids came back from the tournament, they hung their hats on how we did. We were competitive in almost all of our games there; the kids played well.''

Pitching and defense have been the formula for Roseau's success. Roseau swept Thief River by 2-0 and 3-1 scores. It took a pair from East Grand Forks on Monday by 4-2 and 3-1 margins.


"If we get into high-scoring games, we're in trouble,'' Cooper said. "We don't have the power to keep up in games like that. We have a lot of young, fast kids. We bunt and run a lot.

"It's pitching, defense and small ball for us.''

There's depth on the pitching staff. T.J. Erickson and Matt Bailey have been the top starters on a group that also has gotten consistent performances from Lyle Norman, Jared Nelson and Logan Hulst.

"T.J. is just a tough kid. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes,'' Cooper said. "He and Matt both have good stuff. They aren't overpowering. The main thing is they hit their spots. And we don't shoot ourselves in the foot by making a lot of mistakes on defense.''

Roseau finished its district schedule tied for first place in the north half with East Grand Forks. Both have 8-4 records, but East Grand Forks will take the subdistrict's No. 1 seed into the district tournament by virtue of having the run differential advantage in head-to-head games with Roseau.

GF Royals, EGF eye consistency

Postseason play begins next week for the Grand Forks Royals and East Grand Forks American Legion baseball teams. Consistency is the fine-tuning goal for both teams.

The Royals, 15-11 overall and 9-3 in North Dakota league play, will compete in the Class A East Region double-elimination tournament in Fargo, beginning July 22. It's a five-team field, with the top four qualifying for the state tournament.


"We're not tournament ready,'' Royals coach Gabe Dahl said. "We have to be more consistent with our hitting. We've had some very good outings, and we are getting better. But we're not always scoring enough runs.

"We don't hit the long ball, so we have to put the pressure on teams with small ball. We're running the bases better and our bunting has come a long way since the beginning of the season.''

Jake LaDouceur, Joey Conneran and Taylor Steen are all hitting better than .400 for the Royals, who are hitting .350 as a team. "Our hitting average is better than our opponents,'' Dahl said. "But, because we don't have a lot of power, we have to be able to bunch our hits together.''

East Grand Forks, 11-14 overall and 8-4 in north sub-district play, takes the No. 1 seed from the sub-district into the District 9 Division I tournament, which begins July 21 in Perham.

"We really don't have a weak area,'' first-year EGF coach Kevin Nunn said. "But we have to play consistently. In the games we've lost, we haven't made the routine plays. And, when we start making mistakes, it seems like it's everybody contributing. If you make plays on sure outs, you'll be OK.

"When we get everything -- our hitting, pitching and defense -- on the same page, we've been tough to beat.''

East Grand Forks has a solid 1-2 pitching combination in Kevin Hatcher and Darrin Hager. The top hitters, Nunn said, have been Hager, Jordan Osmundson and Tanner Dahlen.

CV-H on power surge


After hitting four home runs in its first 10 games of the season, the Central Valley-Hillsboro American Legion baseball team has erupted for 10 home runs in its last six games.

Last Thursday, Sam Moen, Isaac Schadewald, Brady Paul and Chase Luchsinger each homered in a doubleheader against Hatton-Northwood. The next day, Paul and Cody Waslien each hit one and Nick Proznik had a pair of home runs in a doubleheader against Mayville-Portland. On Sunday, Moen and Paul added home runs against Hope-Finley.

"We don't look like a home run-hitting team,'' CV-H coach Nathan Walsh said. "We have strong kids, but not big kids. But they're taking good cuts right now.

"We've hit the ball well all year; it's hard to complain when you have a .330 team batting average. But, with more repetitions, we're getting more solid contact lately. And it also helped that we've played our last few games in Reynolds. The fences are short. But a lot of those home runs would have been out in a lot of the parks we play in.''

Proznik had four home runs and Paul three to pace the 9-7 team.

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

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