MARSHALL - In his first start of the year, Jaron Christenson was spot on.
The Marshall amateur baseball team took advantage of a solid performance from Christenson and two big innings to defeat Granite Falls 12-2 in seven innings in Corn Belt League play on Wednesday night in Marshall.
"They put up a good game against Sacred Heart (Tuesday) night," said Marshall manager Sean Culhane. "You never can take anyone too lightly. They've been in every game that they've played."
Christenson had pitched one inning prior to his start, where he came away with the complete game win, allowing two runs while scattering five hits. He also struck out four.
"It's my first time starting for the A's this year," said Christenson. "So I wanted to go out and have a good game."
Christenson started the game with a 1-2-3 inning before the A's (15-5 overall, 6-4 Corn Belt) scored four in the bottom of the first inning.
Ben Korger, Jason Minett and Mason Schnaible all had singles while Andrew Kinney launched a double that was just short of being a three-run home run.
Minett, Kinney, Schnaible and Taylor Rignell all came away with RBIs.
Neither team was able to score in the second inning, with Christenson going 1-2-3 for the second time.
"He went back out and had a great answer inning to the four runs," Culhane said. "It proves that he knows how to pitch. He's around the zone and allows his defense to work."
The Kilowatts (13-3, 1-10 league) got on the board when Tyler Dammann drove in Dylan Lindstrom to make it a 4-1 game.
Marshall answered right back when Schnaible scored on an error to make it 5-1.
Christenson and Granite Falls pitcher/manager Nick Richter kept the score at 5-1, not allowing the opposition to score in the fourth or fifth innings.
"I just mixed up the pitches and moved it around the zone," Christenson said. "I wanted to make sure they didn't see anything too good."
Aaron Zieske scored the Kilowatts second run of the game off an Andrew Walters single to cut the lead to 5-2, but the A's answered with a five-run sixth inning, including a pair that scored on a two-out error, putting Marshall ahead 10-2.
"You have to take advantage of what happens when it does happen," said Culhane. "You have to come up with the big hit, the timely walk or the big stolen base. We're starting to do that."
Christenson worked around a single by Dammann and a walk in the top of the seventh to hold Granite Falls without a run.
Kinney hit his second double of the game to lead off the seventh inning for Marshall and scored on a Tanner Neale single. A pair of Kilowatt errors allowed the A's to put the winning run into scoring position and Ben Sanders beat out a double play to drive in the winning run of Marshall's 12-2 victory.
"They are a good team," said Richter. "You give them that many opportunities, they are going to take advantage."
The Kilowatts will play host to Norway Lake - Sunburg on Friday before starting the Section 11 tournament on Sunday while the A's will play host to Coon Rapids on Friday and Saturday before facing Glencoe at American Legion Field on Sunday.
"That's the first Class B team we see all year," Culhane said. "They are always good. It's turned into a bit of a rivalry, so it's something we'll be amped up to play."
Granite Falls 001 001 0 -2 5 5
Marshall 401 005 2 - 12 13 1
GF-Nick Richter, Aaron Zieske (6). M-Jaron Christenson. WP-Christenson. LP-Richter. 2B: M-Andrew Kinney (2), Cody Curry, Mason Schnaible.