Brenda Erdahl Sports Editor
The Maple Lake High School baseball team was off to a 5-0 start last week with a schedule full of double headers to make up for the late start to the season.
On Tuesday, April 24, the Irish went on the road to Eden Valley- Watkins where they opened their season with two shutout wins, defeating the Eagles 18-0 and 10-0.
On Thursday, April 26, Maple Lake took on Holdingford and won 15-1 and 7-6. The Irish ended the week with a 14-0 win over Norwood Young-America on Friday, April 27.
Two pitchers combined to throw the shutout for the Irish in the first game against the Eagles, Tuesday. Nate Hogan provided the final strike-out to end the game and Grant Mergen took the win, allowing two hits and no runs over four innings. He struck out nine and walked one.
The Irish put up three runs in the second and six in the third, but their big inning was the fifth. The combined offensive efforts of Alex Toedter, Dawson McAlpine, Mitch Hoistad, Mergen, Ben Clapp and Ben Reilley led to nine runs in the frame.
Maple Lake ball players had 16 hits for the game. Cole Trager, Hoistad, Reilley and Clapp all managed multiple hits. Trager went 4-for-5 at the plate to lead the Irish in hits.
Game two against EV-W was a similar story with Hogan and Mergen claiming their second shut-out of the afternoon.
Ben Clapp got things moving in the first inning with a solo homer. His teammates put up two more runs to give the Irish a 3-0 lead.
The Irish tacked on three more runs in the fourth and four in the fifth thanks to a triple by Reilley, a single by Trager, an error on a ball put in play by Brock Goelz and a double by Hogan.
Reilley was the winning pitcher. He went four innings, allowed zero runs on one hit, struck out five and walked none. Hogan threw one inning in the relief out of the bullpen.
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