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Vikings leave room for improvement in baseball losses to Rudyard

April 9, 2012
BY JAMES ANDERSEN - News Sports Writer ( , The Alpena News

POSEN- As season openers go, no team is bound to play perfect.

This was especially the case for the Posen baseball team on Monday, and the Vikings showed they have more than a few kinks to work out as they were swept by Rudyard 6-1 and 18-0.

For the second time in four games this season, the Bulldogs threw a no-hitter, doing so in the second game. Three Posen players reached base on errors in the nightcap, but Brady VanSloten and John Rosebrock combined for no hits, seven strikeouts and one walk in the four-inning win.

Article Photos

News Photo by Chris Dobrowolski
Posen catcher Brandon Dietz goes after a passed ball during the second game of a baseball doubleheader against Rudyard on Monday in Posen.

Rudyard led 6-0 after the second inning, but came alive for 12 runs in the fourth inning after sending 17 batters to the plate. Travis Sharpe got a quick out on a fielder's choice, but the Vikings issued eight walks in the inning and committed three errors. Posen also had trouble protecting the plate as a number of the Bulldogs runs came from passed balls that allowed Rudyard to play station-to-station baseball easily.

The Bulldogs led 1-0 after the first inning and tacked on five runs in the second inning. Three straight Posen errors loaded the bases for Ty Wilson, who hit a grand slam to centerfield to put Rudyard up by six.

Rudyard had only four hits for the game but was issued 10 walks. Wilson had two hits and scored four times to go with four RBIs. Six other players scored two runs each for the Bulldogs.

Nathan Lenard, Sharpe and Martin Mulka all took turns on the mound for Posen in the second game. Lenard pitched three innings and struck out five while walking two and giving up six runs on two hits.

"I'm very pleased with my starting pitchers. That was a test; that's why Rudyard comes down here to play ball," Posen coach Pat Kowalski said. "I'm very disappointed in our hitting, but we'll work on that and we'll be just fine."

Posen struggled at the plate in the opener too, getting only four hits off of Wilson and Jake Harrison. Lenard, Jerome Ciarkowski, Nick Hincka and Sharpe had Posen's hits and Ciarkowski and Hincka had an RBI each.

The Bulldogs managed just five hits in the opener, but drew eight walks. A pair of walks in the third inning helped Rudyard score two runs after Rosebrock and Kyle Roe came up with RBI hits; a double and a single, respectively. The runs put Rudyard ahead 3-0.

Posen's only run came in the fourth inning after Ciarkowski tripled with one out and Hincka had an RBI groundout to score him, pulling Posen to within two runs.

Rudyard added two runs in the fifth inning thanks to four walks from Posen. Wilson had an RBI double and later scored after Trevor Miller drew a bases-loaded walk.

The Vikings' best chances at the plate came in the bottom of the fifth inning after a hit batter and two walks loaded the bases with one out. Harrison was able to get out the jam however, striking out Brandon Dietz and getting Ciarkowski to ground out.

Ciarkowski pitched three innings in the opener, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out three and walking four. Dietz pitched the final three innings and allowed three runs, one hit and five walks while striking out four.

"From the pitching point of view, I was very pleased with my starting pitchers," Kowalski said, pointing out that his pitchers didn't allow many earned runs in either game. "Defense failed us. The defense was poor and also our hitting was non-existent. You have to score runs to win and we weren't able to score. We didn't get very good leadership from my upperclassmen at the plate."



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