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Grand Forks Red River pulls away from Green Wave in 10-1 victory

In total, seven different batters would step up to the plate and drive in a run for the Roughriders, who now move to 6-0 overall on the year.

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Green Wave runner Caleb Schmiedeberg scrambles onto third base just before Red River infielder Brett Feller snags the ball in the early innings of a nonconference baseball game at Kraft Field in Grand Forks on Friday, May 6, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS – The Roughriders took control of the game from East Grand Forks in the fourth inning. After the Green Wave scored its only run of the game in the top half, Mason Stroh, Noah Burger, Brett Feller and Brady Price all came around to score in the bottom half on just two hits. Four more runs in the fifth and sixth innings catapulted Grand Forks Red River to a 10-1 win Friday night at Kraft Field.

In total, seven different batters would step up to the plate and drive in a run for the Roughriders, who moved to 6-0 overall on the year. Cole LeDuc and Gunnar Heuchert each brought in two runs, despite LeDuc not recording a hit in the game.

“We had some situational hitting that was better than before,” Red River head coach Mark Varriano said after the win. “Our approach at the dish still has to get better and with more at-bats that will come. We were on our front foot tonight quite a bit.”

Burger was the sole Roughrider to pick up a multi-hit performance with two doubles, one of them scoring the would-be winning run back in the first inning. Heuchert got the day started for Red River when he powered an RBI double on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the first.

The offense for the Green Wave was minimal. Luke Blazek notched their only RBI in the top of the fourth inning, scoring Cam Kofstad. From there, Kelly Middleton and the Red River defense held the basepaths down as they were able to eliminate a couple of East Grand Forks chances with runners in scoring position.

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“When the plays are presented you’ve got to make them. We always talk about making the right play. You don’t have to make the great play, make the right one,” Varriano said.

Middleton went the distance in the win, throwing 108 pitches and striking out four. He also walked four batters.

The Roughriders will be right back at it on Saturday when they take on Fargo North on the road. Now 6-0, they are the only undefeated team remaining in the EDC. While the offense has been crucial in opening up leads, their pitching performances have stood out to Varriano thus far.

“Baseball starts on the mound and our kids have really stood out so far this year. If we can continue to do that, not hurt ourselves in the field and have some timely hitting, we should win a lot of baseball games,” he said.

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East Grand Forks Senior High pitcher Tanner Nowacki lobs the ball toward home plate at Kraft Field during a prep baseball matchup against the Red River Roughriders in Grand Forks on Friday, May 6, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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Green Wave runner Luke Blazek dives back to the bag as Red River first baseman Mason Stroh (10) gets low to catch the ball in the fourth inning of a prep baseball game at Kraft Field in Grand Forks on Friday, May 6, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Red River 10,

East Grand Forks 1

EGF 000 100 0 – 1 6 2

RR 200 413 X – 10 7 2

EGF – Luke Blazek 1-1, RBI; Caleb Schmiedeberg 1-4; Finley Lizakowski 1-4; Carson Belbas 1-4; Grady Magner 1-2; Tanner Nowacki (L) 3.1 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 5 BB

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RR – Gunnar Heuchert 1-4, 2 RBI; Noah Burger 2-3 2 2B, RBI; Mason Stroh 1-2, RBI; Brett Feller 1-3, RBI; Brady Price 1-2, RBI; Cole LeDuc 0-3, 2 RBI; Jaryn Sundby 0-3 RBI; Kelly Middleton (W) 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO

Digital Content Producer and Sports Reporter at the Grand Forks Herald since December of 2020. Maxwell can be contacted at mmarko@gfherald.com.
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