Saints ring the bell, take down Concordia
On Tuesday, April 17, crosstown (and I-70 Conference) rivals met up when the Saint Paul Lutheran High School baseball team played host to Concordia High School. The matchup lived up to its potential, and after a tight game, it was Saint Paul walking away with the 6-5 victory.
The Saints found a way to score runs despite recording just four hits — all singles. A runner found his way into scoring position (second or third base) in every inning except the seventh, when CHS senior Abram Frerking struck out all three batters.
The Saints found themselves exactly where they wanted to be after the fourth inning, when they added five runs after back-to-back outs to start their half of the frame. The big inning extended their lead to 6-0, though the Orioles would strike back in the next half inning with a pair of runs of their own.
The 6-2 deficit would hold until the seventh inning, when the Orioles put together a nice two-out rally. Unfortunately for Oriole faithful, it would only produce three runs, resulting in a 6-5 Saint Paul victory.
Despite recording only four singles, the Saints got on base frequently, drawing six walks while reaching on errors four times and hit batsmen three more times (17 base-runners total). Despite not being able to take advantage of the majority of these opportunities, Saints fans should be encouraged by their team’s ability to get on base and hit the ball hard with runners in scoring position. They won’t all fall, but they won’t all get caught, either.
Three-of-seven Oriole hits went for extra bases (two doubles, one triple). They were integral in putting rallies together in both of their scoring innings.
The only player in the game to record multiple hits was Oriole Abram Frerking. The senior went 3-4 with a two-run double in the seventh while representing the tying run (he was left on second). Freshman Austin Droege stroked an RBI double the at-bat before Frerking’s double. Junior Matthew Gatewood hit an RBI triple in the fifth inning as well.
Before the back-to-back doubles spurred a change, senior Brett Mueller pitched a solid game, going 6 2/3 innings while allowing five runs (four earned), seven hits and three walks, while striking out three. The doubles caused Saints head coach Eric Gramenz to go to his deck, pulling senior Micah Lemmons to shut the door on the final out. Lemmons did just that, striking out the only batter he faced to earn the one-out save.
Two Orioles also held it down from the bump, as junior Lane Mueller got the start, lasting 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs despite only one being earned. He struck out two batters while surrendering five walks, one hit batsman and three hits. Frerking followed Mueller up on the mound, striking out four while allowing one walk and one hit each over 2 1/3 scoreless relief innings. He also pegged two batters.
Coach Gramenz was pleased with the results his Saints put up.
“It’s always great to beat your rival, and I know our guys were excited about the opportunity to play them,” he said. “I thought we came out focused and did enough things well to pull out the victory. Mueller pitched well and our defense overall was pretty good backing him up.”
The victory moved the Saints to 4-3 (2-2) on the season. They played two more games later in the week, beating Sweet Springs High School 6-0, and losing to Carrollton High School 8-2, moving their overall record to 5-4 (3-2).
The Orioles fell to 7-4 (3-2) with the loss. The O’s played the next three days as well, winning against La Monte High School 12-2, Summit Heritage Academy (Overland Park, Kan.) at Kauffman Stadium 2-1, and Leeton 10-0, to improve their record to 10-4 (3-2).