MINNEOTA - "Use your defense" is a phrase pitchers hear frequently.
Well, Minneota/Lincoln HI pitchers Cal Swedzinski and Isaac Josephson tried to use their defense in Thursday's Camden Conference game against rival Canby. Things didn't turn out so well.
The Vikings committed seven errors in a 10-1 loss, including three miscues in six-run seventh inning where Canby blew open the game.
Photo by?Matt Dahlseid
Canby second baseman Michael Slaba, right, runs down the first base line after laying down a bunt that Minneota/Lincoln HI pitcher Cal Swedzinski couldn’t track down in time during the fourth inning of Thursday’s Camden Conference game in Minneota.
The Lancers were more than happy to take advantage of Minneota/Lincoln HI's mistakes, and they did so with great frequency Thursday. They tried to put additional pressure on the Vikings' defense by being aggressive once they reached base and finished the game with three steals.
"I tell my guys all the time, 'You run things out because you never know what's going to happen,'" said Canby head coach Ryan Arndt, whose team has won four straight games since a season-opening loss to Pipestone Area. "We tried to raise a little havoc on the base paths tonight, too.
"We're hitting the ball, but it's right at people. We had to do some other things to score runs. Cal did a nice job of keeping us off balance and having fly balls and ground balls and it was just one of those things."
Canby000 202 6-10 9 1
M/LHI001 000 0-1 3 7
C-Chris Kaddatz, Bryce Gorder (6). M/LH-Cal Swedzinski, Isaac Josephson (6). WP-Kaddatz. LP-Swedzinski. 2B: C-Stephen Huber, Kaddatz (2).
The Lancers put a lot of runs on the board Thursday, but Canby starting pitcher Chris Kaddatz seemed to have things under control anyways. Kaddatz struck out nine batters in five innings of work, giving up just one run on two hits and five walks. Bryce Gorder took over where Kaddatz left off, holding the Vikings to one hit in the final two innings.
Kaddatz also had a strong day at the plate. He struck for a double in the sixth and seventh innings, driving in a run each time.
Arndt said Kaddatz is a player the Lancers look to to get them going, both with his pitching and his hitting.
"Chris is our power pitcher," Arndt said. "This year he's started out throwing lots of strikes and his speed just keeps getting faster and faster. He's got some good changeups in there, too. He's our senior leader. He's been around three years and that's what we look for him to do."
Canby's Stephen Huber drove in the Lancers' first run in the fourth inning, knocking in second baseman Michael Slaba with a double to center field. Huber later stole third base, then scored when Minneota/Lincoln HI catcher Josh Bednarek's throw to third was off the mark. Huber scored three times on the night, the third time after reaching base on a dropped fly ball.
Minneota/Lincoln HI overcame a pair of errors over the first three innings behind the pitching of Swedzinski, who faced just 10 batters during that stretch by inducing fly balls and groundouts. But as the night wore on and the skies grew darker (the game had a 7 p.m. start time), Minneota's miscues just kept piling up. Swedzinski worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout. The Vikings committed three errors while he was on the mound, and four more in the 1 2/3 innings reliever Isaac Josephson pitched.
Minneota/Lincoln HI head coach Keven Larson said his team made a couple of great plays defensively, but struggled when it came to many of the routine plays. One thing he couldn't fault Thursday was his pitching.
"Our pitching was excellent. Both guys threw a lot of strikes and gave us a chance to win, it's just, we didn't play defense," Larson said. "You can't do much about that. I'm very pleased with how we pitched. We've pitched well all year long.
"The defense just didn't come together tonight. I'm not sure what it was. We rarely play under the lights, I don't know if that was part of it. I just don't know."
The Vikings (2-4 overall, 2-2 Camden) will try to iron out their defense for a home conference game against MACCRAY on Monday.
Canby will look to keep its streak rolling when it goes out of conference for a game against Ortonville today in Canby.