Bulldogs get perfect start to season in baseball


CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE Reid Kruegel of the Bulldogs slides into second base safely in the game against Dover-Eyota.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE GMLOK’s Jacob Welch hauls in a throw to get a Dover-Eyota batter out at first base.

CHRISTINE VREEMAN/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE GMLOK teammates mob Drew Copley as he touches home plate after belting a home run against Dover-Eyota. Every run was important in the game that ended with a 2-1 win for the Bulldogs in extra innings.
By: 
Chad Smith

The Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland baseball team is off to a perfect start to the season, taking both games last week.

The Bulldogs started with a 2-1, eight-inning, non-conference win against Dover-Eyota in Kingsland on Monday, April 1. They hit the road for their first Southeast Conference game on Friday, beating the Hurricanes in Houston by a 12-0 score in five innings. The Bulldogs are 2-0 overall (1-0 SEC).

Copley a force vs. D-E

The season-opener for both teams saw some bonus baseball before the game ended. The April 1 game was no joke and a great start to the season for GMLOK. The game was a coming-out party for Drew Copley, a one-man wrecking crew at the plate and on the hill, helping his team to a 2-1, eight-inning win over the Eagles.

“Drew Copley did a great job of controlling the game, both at the plate and on the mound,” said Bulldogs’ coach Dakotah Rostad. “He returned to the field for his senior season after missing last year because of an injury.

“He absolutely pounded the strike zone in getting the win, striking out 18 Eagles, while walking only two batters, giving up just four hits and one unearned run. At the plate, he went two for three with a single, home run, and drew an intentional walk. As if that wasn’t enough, he also scored our only two runs of the game.”

Copley had some help at the plate. Devin Carr had two hits, both singles, and stole a base. Reid Kruegel was two for three, hit by a pitch and stole a base. Nolan Skifter added a single, as did Nick Ramaker and Jacob Welch. Ryan Hinz had a sacrifice fly and an RBI.

Thanks to Copley, Dover-Eyota didn’t have a lot of offense. Teigen Miller scored the only run of the game for D-E while going one for three with a single and a walk. Jack Struder singled in four at-bats while Isaac Bushman was two for four with a single and double.

Rostad said the Bulldogs also played good defense. “Nolan Skifter was a wall behind the plate for us, not allowing a single passed ball while calling a great game,” he said. “Reid Kruegel from Kingsland had a huge play in the outfield to help seal the deal. It was a fantastic team win to start the season.”

Short game at Houston

The Bulldogs wrapped up the week with a Friday road trip to Houston for their first Southeast Conference game of the season. Copley continued his run of success at the plate and on the mound, but this time had more help offensively. The GMLOK bats came out swinging and piled up 12 runs to shorten the game to five innings via the 10-run rule. The Bulldogs are 2-0 overall (1-0 SEC).

“The amazing start to the season continued for Copley in game number two,” Rostad said. “He had another strong performance on the mound and at the plate. He drove in four of our 12 runs. On the mound, he threw five innings, struck out 10 and didn’t give up a single walk.”

Officially, Copley went two for three at the plate, drew a walk and drove in those four runs. Skifter was one for two, drew a walk and scored four times. Christian Millette went one for three with a walk, an RBI and scored twice.

“Millette also had a great defensive outing at second base,” Rostad added. “This was another solid team win. A lot of the kids contributed something as eight of the nine Bulldog batters reached base.

“We had a really solid first week as we improved to 2-0 early in the year. We have three games scheduled for the upcoming week and I’m hoping the weather will cooperate.”

Schedule

The week already began on Monday (weather permitting), April 8, with a non-conference road game against Chatfield. The Bulldogs will be at Kingsland on Tuesday to play Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons. They’ll wrap up the week on Friday, April 12, with a conference road game at Schaeffer Academy.