TYLER - Christopher Van Dyken slugged a go-ahead solo home run over the left-field fence with two outs in the top of the seventh inning Thursday afternoon, lifting the Central Minnesota Christian Bluejays to a 5-4 victory over the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights in a Camden Conference high school baseball game.
Van Dyken's blast gave the Bluejays a win in their season opener, while the Knights are now 1-1 overall after claiming a 7-2 victory over Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian on Monday.
"This was a good ballgame," said CMCS head coach Bob Stoel. "It was a cold and rainy day, but both teams did some nice things out there. Their pitcher was tough and so was ours, which made for a closely-contested affair for all seven innings."
Photo by Lucas Knutson
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton’s Shay Wabeke winds up to throw a pitch during Thursday’s game against Central Minnesota Christian in Tyler.
Tyler Daugherty hurled a complete game for the Bluejays, scattering seven hits and allowing just one earned run. He did issue six walks and hit three batters, but he recorded four strikeouts and worked out of several jams.
RTR's Shay Wabeke also tossed seven strong innings, fanning seven batters and permitting three earned runs on seven walks and five hits.
"Shay pitched well and we made some nice plays behind him," RTR coach Cody Curry said. "We also hit the ball fairly well and had an early spark with the home run, but we needed to get a couple of more timely hits with runners in scoring position."
CMCS200 020 1 - 5 5 5
RTR 300 100 0 - 4 7 1
CMCS-Tyler Daugherty. RTR-Shay Wabeke. WP: Daugherty. LP: Wabeke. 2B: CMCS-Daugherty. HR: CMCS-Christopher Van Dyken; RTR-Abel Romandia. LOB:?CMCS-8; RTR-12.
CMCS struck with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning, executing a nifty double steal to begin the game's scoring. Grant Hoekstra and Nathaniel Gerdes each walked to start the frame and stole home and second base, respectively, moments later.
Daugherty then plated Gerdes with an RBI double to the fence in right-center, giving the Bluejays a quick 2-0 lead.
RTR, though, answered with a trio of runs in the bottom half to take a 3-2 advantage. Luke Wiering reached on an error to lead off the inning, and Abel Romandia (2-for-4) followed with a booming two-run home run over the fence in right-center field.
Two more errors by the Bluejays allowed the Knights to score once more, as Phil Madsen drew a walk, stole a base and crossed the plate to put RTR in front.
Wabeke then worked three straight scoreless innings, and the Knights increased their lead to 4-2 with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Brent Wiering reached on an error to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mitch Hurst.
Luke Wiering then drove an RBI single into center field, scoring Brent Wiering for a two-run RTR cushion.
But CMCS manufactured a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to even the score. Gerdes reached on an error before Sam Ohden and Daugherty each walked to load the bases with one out.
Van Dyken (3-for-4) then hit a groundball to shortstop, and the Knights recorded the inning's second out at second base. However, both Gerdes and Ohden hustled home and scored on the play for a 4-4 ballgame.
Neither team scored in the sixth, and CMCS generated the game-winning run in the top of the seventh on Van Dyken's two-out home run to take a 5-4 lead.
RTR put together one final threat in the bottom half, as Bubba Good led off with a sharp single up the middle. A sacrifice bunt by Nick Moberg ensued, advancing pinch-runner Will Petersen to second base.
Brent Wiering (2-for-3, singles in the second and fifth) then coaxed a walk, but Daugherty closed the door by inducing a fielder's choice groundout and a flyout to center field to secure a one-run victory for the Bluejays.
RTR is on the road Monday for a doubleheader with Minneota/Lincoln HI. CMCS will play at home Monday, hosting Renville County West.