As submitted to the Ortonville Independent (7-5-16)
Over the holiday weekend the Rox made the short trip to Rosen for the much anticipated, annual 4th of July game hosted by the Express Baseball Club. As usual it was a warm beautiful day in Rosen with a light breeze into home plate from left center field. The game was a tightly contested pitcher's battle in which the Rox came away with a 4-3 victory.
Rosen's starting pitcher Dillion Lilljord threw very well, but found himself some trouble early. The Rox scored two runs on three hits in the first inning and two runs on one hit in the second inning. With the Rox out to a commanding 4-0 lead, Lillijord took command in the third inning and shut down the Rox offense. Over the remaining seven innings he allowed no runs and only three hits. In fact, Lillijord only faced two extra hitters after the second inning and faced the minimum in five of the remaining seven innings.
Fortunately for the Rox, their pitching staff of Chris Fellows and Tony Schake were up to the challenge of keeping the Express offense to less than four runs. Starting pitcher Fellows struck out seven Rosen batters through eight innings to come away with the win. By the eighth inning the Express had scored three runs, only one was charged to Fellows as an earned run the others unearned as a result of three fielding errors. Schake came in for the bottom of the ninth inning to close the game and did so in dominant fashion. He fielded a softly hit ground ball himself and struck out the other two Rosen hitters to earn his second save and advance the Rox record to 8-1 in Land O' Ducks League play.
Offensively Joe Fuller led the Rox with two hits in four at bats. Fuller also drove in the first two runs on a bases loaded single in the first inning. Scoring were Fellows who had singled and Watson who hit a double. Riley Sammon drove in Dan Berdan on a double to the left center gap for the third Rox run. After Sammon stole third Chance Haugen hit a fly ball deep to centerfield allowing Sammon to score. After scoring four runs in two innings the Rox offense would go dormant. Berdan and Chris Doney added one hit each for a total of seven hits. But, no more runs would score as the game ended 4-3.
Next weekend he Rox will have two league games at home, Friday, July 8th vs. Appleton at 8pm and Saturday, July 9th vs. Morris at 7:30. Versus Morris, Ortonville will be facing their toughest completion of the year. The Eagles will enter Ortonville on Saturday night as the best team in the Land O' Ducks League (9-0) and a Minnesota Baseball Association top ten state rank with an overall record of 15-0.