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Voyageur's Best Sports of 2004

McGregor Baseball

Mercs steal three!
Win gives McGregor a winning record in Polar League play
by John Grones  | May 11, 2004

The Mercs are on a roll and they stole three games this past week. The Mercs began the week defeating the Cromwell Cardinals 19-10 and then followed that up with two more victories over the Wrenshall Wrens (10-0) and the Barnum Bombers (15-8).

For McGregor, the bats are really heating up and the team’s average is an excellent .319. The Mercs are lead by Caleb Sorensen, who has a .478 average; Anthony Pierce at .420; Tony Novotny at .393 and Kurtis Larson at .387.

In the team’s first game this week, they played the Cromwell Cardinals, a team that has been struggling all year. The Cards came out smoking and scored seven runs in the first inning, only to see the Mercs come right back with three, four and five runs in the first three innings. The Mercs took a 12-7 lead and never looked back.

McGregor knocked out 12 hits on their way to a 19-10 victory. Tony Novotny had two hits, a double and a single; Anthony Pierce had a single, two walks, and four stolen bases; Caleb Sorensen had a triple, two stolen bases and scored three runs; Clint Meld had a double, two walks and scored three runs; Derek Cummings had two singles, two walks, three stolen bases and scored three runs; and Kurtis Larson had a perfect afternoon recording two singles and three walks.

The Cards had their best scoring output of the season with 10 runs. Taylor Bloemendaal had a pair of doubles, Jordan Johnson had a double and Cody Hendrickson had a double. Taylor Bloemendaal added four stolen bases.

Mercs 10, Wrenshall 0

According to Head Coach Jon Jacobs, the win over Wrenshall on Tues., May 4 was definitely a team effort. Seven different players scored and there were no errors. Tony Novotny gave up one hit and one walk in five innings, while striking out six batters.

Kurtis Larson continued his hot hitting by going two for three; Rich Franko also went two for three and knocked in two runs; and John McGee went one for two and had four RBIs.

Mercs 15, Barnum 8

The biggest win of the season occurred on Thurs., May 6. They defeated the Barnum Bombers, the current second place team in the Polar League conference. If it hadn’t been for one bad inning in the field, the game might have been a blow out.

The Mercs got off to a quick start by scoring three runs in the first inning. Anthony Pierce reached, Clint Meld singled, Caleb Sorensen walked and Josh Napstad doubled and drove in two runs.

A key point in the game occurred in the bottom of the second when Barnum had runners on first and third with only one out. Shortstop Anthony Pierce scooped up a grounder, stepped on second and turned the double play. The strong defense ignited the Mercs and they turned around with another big inning at the plate.

The Mercs sent 10 batters to the plate. The rally began with back-to-back doubles by Matt Kump and Rich Franko. After a single, a couple of outs and a walk, the Mercs added three straight two-out singles to complete their five-run inning.

The Mercs played well until the fifth inning, when the wheels nearly fell off. Barnum picked up five runs on one hit. Four errors and two walks led to five runs and bases loaded with one out. Coach Jacobs decided it was time to bring in Anthony Pierce, who picked up a strike out and a fly out to end the inning.

The Mercs picked up three more runs after that and shut down the Bombers in the seventh inning for their seventh win of the season. The Mercs now have a 7-8 overall record and are 5-4 in the conference. Next week, the Mercs have two more conference games versus Silver Bay and Moose Lake. The Mercs are currently sixth in the conference, and considering the fact that the next two games are worth two points, the Mercs could move up rapidly in the standings with wins.

This article first appeared in the May 11, 2004 issue of the Voyageur Press.