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Paynesville Press - April 20, 2005

Dogs beat Albany in WCCN opener

By Michael Jacobson

The Bulldogs answered every Albany rally on Thursday with their baseball bats. Each time the Huskies scored in the Bulldogs' conference opener, the Dogs responded by scoring in their half of the inning, leading to a 9-6 home victory on Thursday.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a solo homer by senior Justin Butkofski.

Albany then took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-run homer by Randy Lockridge and then a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning on a three-run homer by Lockridge.

But the Dogs answered each time. In the bottom of the third, junior Trent Hansen singled and Butkofski doubled, with both scoring on Albany errors, giving the Dogs a 3-2 lead. Then, in the bottom of the fifth, senior Mike Mueller hit a three-run homer to give the Dogs a 6-5 lead.

And the Dogs weren't done in the fifth. Junior John Hemingson followed Mueller's blast with a double and scored on a single by junior Derek Stanger, giving the Dogs a 7-5 lead.

Albany scored another run in the top of the sixth, getting within one run at 7-6, but the Dogs answered again in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two insurance runs. Mueller had an RBI double and then scored on a single by Hemingson to give the Dogs a 9-6 lead.

Coach Brad Skoglund said he was very pleased with the way the Dogs responded at the plate after Albany took their brief leads. "Mike Mueller had a great day at the plate for us," said Skoglund, "but all through the lineup we hit the ball well, which was pleasing."

The Dogs also played solid defense and pitched well, noted Skoglund. Butkofski started and earned the pitching win, and senior Chris Beier finished the game in relief, earning praise from Skoglund for coming on in relief and pitching the team out of a jam in the fifth inning, getting two strikeouts to end the inning.

This week, the Dogs (2-1 overall, 1-0 in the WCC North) played at Benson on Monday and hosted St. Cloud Cathedral on Tuesday. They will play at New London-Spicer on Thursday, they will play in a tournament at Big Lake on Saturday, and they will play at Melrose on Tuesday, April 26.

Albany-- 002 031 0 - 611 4
Paynesville-- 102 042 x - 9 12 2

Albany - Batting: Randy Lockridge 2-3 HR-2 RBI-5; Kurt Schlangen 2-3 2B R; Ryan Mareck 2-4 R-2; Tom Hanson 2-4; Rick Hendrickson 1-3 R RBI.

Paynesville - Batting: Justin Butkofski 3-3 HR 2B R-4; Mike Mueller 2-4 HR 2B RBI-4 R-2; John Hemingson 2-4 2B R RBI; Trent Hansen 2-4 R-2; Derek Stanger 2-4 RBI; Chris Beier 1-3; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Lieser (W) (5-1-0-0-0-6).

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