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Paynesville Press - April 14, 2004

Baseball team runs winning streak to eight

By Michael Jacobson

The Bulldogs baseball team, rated tenth in the state, won their eighth straight game on Friday, defeating subsection rival Maple Lake 10-3.

The Dogs (9-1) won three games last week, including their victory against the Irish in Paynesville.

Junior Chris Beier hit a two-run homer in the second inning and a three-run double in the third to lead the Bulldogs against Maple Lake, while junior Justin Butkofski pitched a complete game, allowing only one earned run.

After Maple Lake scored a run on a solo homer in the second inning on Friday, Beier hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the second to give the Dogs the lead.

Then the Dogs expanded their lead with five runs in the third. In addition to Beier's bases-loaded double that cleared the bases, senior Adam Kampsen had an RBI double in the inning.

Maple Lake scored two unearned runs in the sixth inning, using two hits and three Paynesville errors to score two runs. That cut the Dogs' lead to 7-3, but the Dogs answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, making the final score 10-3. Butkofski delivered a two-run single in the sixth for Paynesville, and senior Bobby O'Fallon singled and came around to score on a wild pitch for the Dogs' final run.

"Justin pitched very well," said coach Brad Skoglund. "They got a couple seeing-eyed hits in the sixth, but he pitched well."

The entire pitching staff has done well this spring, said Skoglund, including several complete games that make coaching easy.

This week, the Dogs face four tough games with the conference title still on the line. They played at Cathedral on Monday and hosted Sauk Centre on Tuesday. They will host state-rated Albany on Thursday with the junior varsity and ninth grade playing at 5 p.m. and the varsity playing at 7 p.m. On Friday, the Dogs will travel to Howard Lake to play the defending Class A champs, who are now a subsection rival.

Next week, the Dogs will host Cathedral, the defending Class AA champs, on Tuesday, May 11, in a night game. The junior varsity and ninth grade will play at 4:30 p.m., with the varsity playing at 7 p.m.

Paynesville-- 025 003 0 - 1012 3
Maple Lake 010 002 0 - 3 5 1

Maple Lake - Batting: Shane Coughey 3-3; Cody Decker 1-4 HR R-2;
Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Rob Smith (L) (2.2-5-7-7-3-2); Dan Rasset (3.1-7-3-3-1-3).

Paynesville - Batting: Chris Beier 2-3 2B HR RBI-5; Mike Mueller 2-3 R-2; Bobby O'Fallon 1-1 R; Ross Jaeger 1-1; John Hemingson 1-2 R; Jamie Paul 1-2 R-2 BB-2; Justin Butkofski 1-3 R RBI-2; Jordan Haag 1-4 R SB; Adam Kampsen 1-4 2B RBI; Chad Stang 1-4; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Butkofski (W) (7-5-3-1-1-4).

Paynesville 9, LPGE 5

The Dogs rallied to beat LPGE, scoring six runs in the sixth inning to earn a conference road victory. The win was the seventh straight for the Dogs.

LPGE scored five runs in the first four innings, building a 5-2 lead. The Dogs (2-1 in the WCC North) cut that lead to 5-3 with a run in the fifth and then took the lead with six runs in the sixth inning.

The Dogs' sixth-inning rally was highlighted by a two-run double by sophomore John Hemingson (that tied the score at 5-5) and a three-run homer by senior Jordan Haag (that gave the Dogs an 8-5 lead). The Dogs added an insurance run in the sixth inning, scored on a balk.

"We weren't hitting the ball well, we were behind, but we got the big hits in the sixth inning," said Skoglund.

Skoglund almost pulled starting pitcher Chris Beier, who struggled early. But Beier retired the last 12 batters he faced, allowing the Dogs to rally. Skoglund said Beier got more aggressive, and stronger, as the game went on.

The Bulldogs scored single runs in the second, third, and fifth innings, accounting for the 5-3 score heading into the sixth inning. Senior Chad Stang singled home a run in the second, junior Justin Butkofski singled home a run in the third, and Haag hit an RBI double in the fifth.

Haag, in his first season as a varsity regular as a senior, has made himself into an outstanding player, said Skoglund, by working hard on his hitting and lifting weights in the off-season.

Paynesville-- 011 016 0 - 99 1
LPGE-- 120 200 0 - 5 9 2

Paynesville - Batting: Jordan Haag 2-4 2B HR RBI-4; Chad Stang 2-4 RBI; Justin Butkofski 2-4 RBI; John Hemingson 1-3 2B RBI-2 R; Jamie Paul 1-3 R-2; Mike Mueller 1-3 R SB Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Chris Beier (W) (7-9-5-4-1-4).

LPGE - Batting: Craig Tschida 3-4 RBI; Mike Ager 2-3 R-2; Terry Rahn 2-3 R; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Ager (L) (5.2-8-9-8-3-4); Minko (1.1-1-0-0-1-3).

Paynesville 7, Melrose 4

The Bulldogs won their first conference game, and sixth in a row, on Tuesday, April 27, beating Melrose 7-4 at PAHS.

The Bulldogs scored seven runs in their first three at bats, building leads of 4-0 and 7-2 and then holding on and winning.

In the bottom of the first, junior Justin Butkofski delivered a two-run single to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. In the second, sophomore John Hemingson singled, advanced to second on a balk, and scored on a single by sophomore Jamie Paul, one of Paul's team-leading three hits in the game.

After Melrose scored two runs on a two-out single in the top of the third, the Bulldogs added three more in the bottom of the third. Senior Adam Kampsen, who threw a complete game for the pitching victory, singled and scored on a double by Butkofski, who had three RBIs in the game. Junior Mike Mueller then homered for the second straight game, a two-run blast that ended the scoring for the Bulldogs.

Melrose also got a two-run homer in the top of the fourth, but the Dogs shut out the Dutchmen over the last three innings to win 7-4, their sixth straight victory.

Paynesville-- 223 000 x - 711 1
Melrose-- 002 200 0 - 4 4 0

Melrose - Batting: Jason Klaphake 2-4 RBI-2; Ryan Klaphake 1-3 HR RBI-2; Rocky Horn 1-2 2B R; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Jim Sieben (L) (4.1-10-7-7-3-3); Ross Uphoff (1.2-1-0-0-1-2).

Paynesville - Batting: Jamie Paul 3-4 R-2 RBI SB; Justin Butkofski 2-3 2B RBI-3; Mike Mueller 2-3 HR RBI-2; Jordan Haag 2-3 RBI; Adam Kampsen 1-2 R BB-2; John Hemingson 1-3 R; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Kampsen (W) (7-4-4-3-1-7).

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