NRHEG hitting its stride lately

Published 10:28 pm Monday, May 24, 2010

After losing 12 consecutive games the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva baseball team has started to reverse the trend at the right time.

The Panthers won for the third time in four games Monday in the play-in game of the Section 2A playoffs with a 13-1, five-inning victory over Alden-Conger.

NRHEG (4-16) entered the playoffs as the lower seed and used that as motivation heading into the playoffs, said head coach Jeff Reese. The Panthers will need more of that mentality Thursday when they face second-seeded Mankato Loyola in Mankato.

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NRHEG senior Brett Hagen threw a three-hit gem and struck out eight in five innings. Hagen also went 4-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate. Senior Matt Tomsche went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

The Panthers struck early in the first inning and batted around to score seven runs. The first eight hitters reached with base hits.

After starting slow NRHEG has started to show some maturity in its last four games.

“I think sometimes I throw too much at them right away and it takes a while to absorb,” Reese said.

With a lineup of five sophomores NRHEG has gotten more comfortable at the varsity level and it showed against the Knights.

Alden-Conger (4-13) responded with a lone run in the bottom of the first inning on Matt Jensen’s RBI double, but looked defeated the duration of the game.

“It was going to be a tough game, but none of us expected to take it on the chin like this,” said Knights head coach Brett Sindelir.

NRHEG 13, Alden-Conger 1, 5 innings

NRHEG 711 22x x — 13 15 1

Alden-Conger 100 00x x —  1 3 2

WP—Brett Hagen 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

LP—Jordan Johnson 5 IP, 15 H, 13 R, 11 ER, 2 BB, 3 K