Up and Down Weekend for Rox.
Posted on Jun 15, 2016
As Submitted to the Ortonville Independent
Up and Down Weekend for Rox.
Rox Drop Two of Three in Weekend Road Trip.
On Friday night, June 10th the Rox started their three game weekend road trip with a win against the historically solid Dumont Saints, unfortunately the Rox were unable to carry that momentum into Sunberg and Montevideo as they suffered back-to-back losses.
Although the Dumont Saints have made three state tournament appearances in the past six years they did not play to that potential against the Rox. The Rox beat Dumont 14-4 in eight innings. With the win the Rox were 5-0 in league play trailing only the 6-0 Morris Eagles in the Land O Duck Wood League standings.
The Rox offense got things started early in Wheaton with leadoff hitter John Thomas scoring in the top of the first inning. From there the Rox never looked back as they scored three runs in the second, with Thomas scoring for a second time in as many innings, with Isaac Knutson and Tony Schake also crossing home plate. Joe Fuller and Andrew Treinen each added runs in the fifth as the Rox took a 6-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Chris Fellows was efficient through the five innings. To that point, he had allowed no runs and faced only five extra hitters on three hits and two walks. C. Fellows had struck out three Dumont hitters going into the bottom of the sixth, when the first four hitters reached base. With the Dumont threatening to rally back T. Schake replaced C. Fellows on the mound. Ultimately, the four Saints that reached base all scored as runs charged to C. Fellows. From there T. Schake worked out of the jam quickly getting three of the next four hitters out and recorded a total of outs without allowing a run to score.
Following the Dumont rally, the Rox offense responded, extending their previously lost lead by scoring six runs in the top of the seventh and another two in the eighth. Fuller made his first pitching appearance of the year and pitched a scoreless eighth inning to seal the game with a 14-4 final.
Winning pitcher C. Fellows was also the leading hitter for the Rox with three hits in five at bats, followed by Knutson with two hits in four at bats. Almost every other Rox player had a hit bringing the total to 15 on the night, equally as impressive were the five extra base hits by the Rox. C. Fellows, Fuller, A. Treinen and N. Treinen each had doubles and Chris Doney added a triple.
On Saturday, June 11th in Sunberg the Rox displayed some far less impressive play against the Norway Lake-Sunberg Lakers as they gave up 16 runs, in a 16-8 loss. Things seemed to start off well with leadoff hitter and starting shortstop Mike Schake getting a base hit, stealing second and scoring on Andrew Treinen's at bat. The Lakers tied things up in the bottom of the first, but the Rox scored two runs in the second to take the lead 3-1. In the bottom of the second the wheels began to fall off for the Rox as the Lakers scored five runs. The Rox had lost the lead and would not regain it as they allowed another five runs in the third inning, one in the sixth and five in the eighth.
The Lakers offense had only seven hits. However, the 16 free passes allowed by the Rox pitching staff combined with a very uncharacteristic six fielding errors resulted in a disastrous final score.
There were some highlights which included; the Rox first homerun of the year by starting second baseman Aaron Quinn, a three hit day in five at bats by starting pitcher Isaac Cloos, one of which went for a double, and relief pitcher Isaac Knutson throwing and hitting the ball well with a double and a single in three at bats.
In the final game of the weekend the Rox faced the Montevideo Spartans, the top ranked team Land O' Ducks Teal League. The Spartans strategically saved their starting pitcher Colton Vien for the Rox while taking tough losses to Clinton and Morris earlier in the week. In recent years Vien has been regarded as one of the top pitchers in the league, and did not disappoint against the Rox. It was evident the Spartans had their eyes set on beating the undefeated Rox and they succeeded with a 6-2 win.
Vien pitched all nine innings for the win allowing only two runs on six hits, while also handing the Rox their first league loss (5-1). Vien's command of the strike zone was a problem for the Rox, he was able to effectively attack hitters with a fastball and slider, which resulted in 10 Rox strikeouts. The Spartans defense complimented Vien's pitching by committing only three errors on the 23 balls the Rox were able to put in play.
Meanwhile, the Rox pitching staff was doing plenty to win, but the defense for a second straight day was uncharacteristically flawed. Rox pitchers allowed a modest nine hits, but the Spartans offense was able to capitalize on a combination of three fielding errors and multiple passed balls for six runs, only three of which were earned.
Again there were bright spots for the Rox, Riley Sammon made one of the magnificent plays he has become known for at shortstop. On a ball hit to the left side, just out of the reach of third baseman Joe Fuller, Sammon ranged to his right and fielded the ball and made a throw while leaping and spinning to his left to get the runner out at first base. Curt Schake made a five inning relief appearance and pitched very well. C. Schake had only been used in one or two inning appearances up to this point, was called on early because his nephew Tony with a sore elbow was unable to continue after the first inning. Sammon relieved C. Schake for the seventh and eighth innings allowing only one unearned run. Offensively there was not much to speak of, aside from Fuller who had two of the team's six hits, each of which were well hit doubles. Other Rox who had hits were Chris Fellows, Chance Haugen, John Thomas and Isaac Knutson.
This week the Rox will look to regain the momentum lost after the Dumont game as they host Minneota on Wednesday, June 22nd at 7:30 p.m. and Appleton on Friday, June 24th at 8:00 p.m., followed by a road trip to Hancock on Sunday the 26th for a 2:00 p.m. game.