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Paynesville Press - May 18, 2005

Dogs rally to beat #1-ranked Cathedral

By Michael Jacobson

Senior Mike Mueller doubled down the third-base line to score the winning run as the Bulldogs baseball team rallied to beat St. Cloud Cathedral 5-4 on Tuesday, May 10.

In beating the Crusaders, rated #1 in Class AA in the state, the Dogs stayed in the conference race. Cathedral (5-2) leads LPGE (4-2) by a half game in the West Central Conference North with Paynesville (4-3) and Albany (4-3) a game back.

The Dogs beat Cathedral on the road for the third straight year, breaking a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud. Senior Brandon Berg walked to start the rally and reached second on a sacrifice. With two outs, senior Justin Butkofski walked and Mueller followed with a double just inside the bag at third to score Berg.

Mike Mueller Leading 5-4, the Dogs made three good defensive plays in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the victory. Junior third baseman Derek Stanger caught a liner for the first out. Then, after a Cathedral single, Stanger fielded a chopper and his off-balance throw beat the batter at first by a half step. Finally, with the tying run at second, junior shortstop Jamie Paul fielded a hard-hit one-hopper for the final out.

Senior Mike Mueller hit a double down the third-base line in the seventh inning as the Bulldogs rallied to upset Cathedral last week 5-4.

The Dogs had already made several good defensive plays to keep the game tied at 4-4. In the fifth inning, junior catcher John Hemingson picked a runner off first, saving a run as the Crusaders later got two hits in the inning. And, in the sixth, the Crusaders tried to break early to second on a steal attempt with runners at the corners, but the Dogs executed a good pickoff play and tagged out the runner without allowing the runner from third to score.

Since the team spent Monday's practice focusing on defense and situations, their good play in the field on Tuesday was good to see, said coach Brad Skoglund. "It was encouraging from a coaching standpoint to see them carry over what we had worked on in practice to the game," he said.

Skoglund also praised senior righthander Chris Beier, who pitched a complete game on the hill for the Dogs. Beier, said Skoglund, pitched outstanding and was aided by some excellent defense.

The Dogs had taken a 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the second. Mueller doubled to left-center; Beier walked; and Hemingson hit an RBI single to center to score the first run. Then, with two outs and two strikes, junior Mark Andrie hit a ground-ball single to center to score two more runs.

Cathedral answered with four straight two-out singles in the bottom of the second to score two runs and then took the lead with three straight hits to start the third inning and score another two runs.

The Dogs tied the game in the top of the fourth as Beier led off the inning with a triple to right-center. He scored on a ground out to tie the game 4-4.

The Dogs (9-5 overall) were scheduled to play Melrose last week, but this game was rescheduled twice due to the weather. They were scheduled to play Melrose on Monday and at LPGE on Tuesday. On Thursday, the Dogs will host Sauk Centre in their last conference game, and they will travel to play ACGC, a subsection rival, on Friday. Next week, the Dogs will play at Minnewaska on Tuesday, May 24.

Paynesville-- 030 100 1 - 56 1
Cathedral-- 022 000 0 - 4 12 0

Paynesville - Batting: Mike Mueller 2-4 2B-2 R RBI; John Hemingson 2-3 R RBI-2; Mark Andrie 1-2 RBI-2; Chris Beier 1-2 3B R-2; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Beier (W) (7-12-4-4-1-1).
Cathedral - Batting: Brian Anderson 3-4 RBI; Joe Niebiff 2-4 R; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Peter Burg (L) (7-6-5-5-5-7).

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