Elrosa Saints baseball travels to New Munich on Sunday in their first Stearns County League-North game of the year
Ethan Vogt, shown batting in the 2009 season opener at New Munich. He pitched four strong innings in the 2010 season opener at Lake Henry last week, a 5-3 win for Elrosa, a game in which he and reliever Dustin Breitbach combined pitching efforts that held the Silverstreaks to five hits.
New Munich will be hungry to rebound from their 5-0 loss to Meire Grove in the season opener last weekend, when they host the Elrosa Saints amateur baseball team on Sunday (May 2) at 1:30pm.
As always, an entertaining game is expected to play out between the rival Saints and Silverstreaks.
In 2009, New Munich went 12-7 in the regular season, 9-4 (2nd) in the Stearns County League North, then 2-1 in the divisionals and 1-2 in Region 15C for a final overall record of 15-10. Their season ended last year in an 11-inning, rain-soaked game by an 8-7 score to Norway Lake-Sunburg.
For Elrosa in 2009, the team endured a rough month of May in which they went 1-4 in Stearns County League play and 2-5 overall. They rebounded with a sizzling hot July and August - collecting four wins in SCL-North playoffs, three in Region 15C action, and one at the state tournament.
Their 2009 playoff run would go down as the second-best in Elrosa baseball history. In 2003, the Saints went 2-2 at state, after picking up wins over Wilmont and Melrose.
Elrosa finished 15-13 overall, including regular season and playoff action.
Just for fun!...here's a short video clip from right after the state tournament opener in 2009, which the Saints won 6-0 over a 24-1 Carlos team.
- Here's the story from the 2009 season opener, between Elrosa and New Munich:
The Saints enjoyed a four-hit attack in the first inning. The highlight was Pat Illies's home run to start the game's scoring, bringing home Matt Middendorf for two runs.
After a scoreless second inning, Illies bombed another home run, this time to the tune of three runs scored, as the Saints staked an early 5-0 lead after three innings were in the book. The Saints milked three runs off of two hits in the third inning, with Dustin Breitbach connecting for the other Elrosa hit.
Aaron Vogt started on the mound for Elrosa, firing two straight strikeouts to start the top of the first inning. Vogt owned the Silverstreaks in the third inning, mowing down all batters via strikeout.
The Silverstreaks came to life in the fourth inning, with Darin Funk's run-scoring single leading the way. Joe Stangler added another RBI-single before Vogt ended the inning with two more strikeouts.
In the top of the fifth, Middendorf earned a one-hit single before the Silverstreaks walked Illies. Two strikeouts ended the Saints' chances to score, however.
In the top of the sixth, Weston Wander led off with a single to center field before Mike Illies got on base with a fielder's choice. The Silverstreaks earned two outs before Andy Mages calmly took a walk on a 3-2 count.
Dustin Breitbach's single-RBI to center field brought Illies home. Middendorf loaded the bases with a single to center field, cracking the ball on his first pitch.
The Silverstreaks changed pitchers, as veteran ace Jim Thull had been roughed up enough by the Saints at that point. Adam Stangler took over, giving up a two-RBI single to Pat Illies to bring Mages and Breitbach home.
New Munich had their own damage to inflict in the bottom of the sixth, as they went to work on the Saints' Zach Weller to the tune of three walks and a three-RBI double by Jon Gaebel. Elrosa clung to a slim 8-7 lead after Weller earned the final out with the second of his two strikeouts in the frame.
Both teams mustered zero runs each in the seventh inning, which was highlighted by Weston Wander's leaping catch in right field for a pop fly.
In the top of the eighth, the Saints mustered one run off of two hits, leaving two stranded. They had their chances for more, after Pat Illies was walked to load the bases and put Joe Stangler on the mound for New Munich. Stangler worked out of a jam with a strikeout and two fielder's choices.
New Munich put the final touches on the game's scoring in the bottom of the eighth, scoring five runs on four hits, including three earned runs off of closing pitcher Matt Middendorf. Adam Stangler's walk-on RBI put the Silverstreaks ahead for good.
The Saints came up dry in the top of the ninth, suffering a strikeout and two pop flies against one walk by Andy Mages.
The 12-9 loss was a tough one to take, for sure, but the Saints showed they are ready to play and will be a team to beat in the Stearns County League in 2009.
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