UPDATED: Spartans get back into win columnSophomore and two freshmen help Superior defeat Hibbing 4-2
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
HIBBING – The Superior High School baseball team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Hibbing Blue Jackets in the opening round of the Mike Bugliosi “Wood Bat” Classic Friday night at Al Nyberg Field.
The Spartans (11-5) rode the pitching of sophomore Jordan McDonald, who tossed a complete-game three-hitter with two strikeouts and one walk.
“Jordan did a nice job of throwing strikes early in the count,” SHS coach Don Dembroski said. He also got some good defense behind him. Zach (Magdzas) made a couple of good plays at third and Devon (Robinson) made a nice catch in center to end the game.”
Offensively, Superior only had four hits, a RBI double by freshman Devon Robinson, a double by freshman Grant Rindal and singles by Kellen McCoshen and Rob Dembroski.
Failing to get a hit in a game for the first time this season for the Spartans was Taylor Olson, who went 0-for-4. The junior second baseman had at least one hit in Superior’s first 15 games and currently leads the team in hits with 22.
“I don’t remember a hit streak that high, but maybe he’s been taking too much batting practice lately,” Dembroski said. “When you take too many hits your hands hurt and your arms get sore. Maybe he was overdoing it. Now that the streak’s over, he can relax a bit.”
Dallas Coleman and Daulton Balstad pitched for Hibbing, finishing with five strikeouts and five walks.
Superior took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning as Nolan Holcombe, who reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on Robinson’s double down the right-field line, and Zach Magdzas walked with the bases loaded.
The Spartans made it 4-0 in the seventh thanks to a pair of Hibbing throwing errors. McDonald started the inning with a walk and courtesy runner Nick Sitek scored on an error off the bat of Magdzas. Al Meehan, who reached on a fielder’s choice, then scored on a throwing error attempting to get Magdzas while he was stealing second.
“It was nice to score some runs, it’s been about 15 innings since we’ve scored,” Dembroski said. “Before the fifth inning I said ‘let’s try this – let’s not score any runs.’ A couple of the kids looked at me funny, but I we had to try something different. Reverse psychology, I guess.”
McDonald, who retired the side in order in three innings and faced just four batters in three others, ran into a bit of trouble in the seventh when an error, walk and fielder’s choice led to a pinch-hit, two-run single by Tyler Graff.
McDonald got a ground out and a nice running catch by Robinson in center field, to get out of the jam without any further damage.
“Devon has provided us with a nice little spark,” Dembroski said. “He’s played a few games in center for us and he looks comfortable. We gave him a few at bats tonight and he looked comfortable there, too. It’s nice seeing him pitch in.”
Hibbing’s other two hits were singles by Jimmy Dosen and Steve Erickson.
The Spartans are back in Hibbing Saturday against Thief River Falls at 12:30 p.m. and Cloquet at 3 p.m.
In other action Friday, Cloquet defeated Thief River Falls 5-2.
SPARTAN SPIN: The SHS JV defeated Duluth Denfeld 5-2 on Friday night. Danny Kreidler started on the mound for the Spartans and pitched five shutout innings to get the win. He struck out two, walked four and allowed two hits. Dane Sislo pitched the final two innings for the save. He allowed two unearned runs on one hit and struck out three. Paul Edwards led the Spartans at the plate with four hits, including a double and two runs batted in. Kreidler added three hits, including a double and RBI while Jordan Hughes and Clayton Yeazle each had two hits. The Spartan JV record is 9-7.