Huskies baseball maintains hold on first place

Friday was a bad news, good news day for the St. Anthony Village High School baseball team. The bad news was that the Huskies suffered their first loss of the season, but the good news is that the loss didn’t damage their conference-title hopes. They also didn’t have to wait very long to put the loss in the rearview mirror.

St. Anthony played a pair of games on Friday and on paper the first contest appeared to be the easier of the two but that turned out not to be the case. The Huskies, who had ascended to the No. 1 spot in the Class AA state rankings earlier in the week, dropped a 7-5 decision to a sub-.500 St. Croix Lutheran team.

“Baseball’s a funny game,” said St. Anthony head coach Troy Urdahl. “We think we understand it, but yet crazy things keep happening and we probably never will understand it.”

St. Anthony surrendered all seven runs in the first three innings and despite cranking out 11 hits, couldn’t complete the comeback.

“It’s going to happen,” Urdahl said. “St. Croix played really well. We didn’t get the timely hit and gave up a big inning. That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Following the loss, the Huskies regrouped and got ready to take on third-ranked New Ulm in the nightcap. On paper, this game looked like it should be an entertaining one but it turned out to be an old-fashioned whipping as St. Anthony won 13-1 in five innings.

The Huskies pounded out 16 hits to finish the day with 27 hits over the two games.

“I know they can hit the ball really well, but that’s the best they’ve hit the ball, as a team, all year long,” Urdahl said. “And against a really good team.”

Aidan Kelly led the way with three hits and five runs batted in. He got three of those RBI on a bases-loaded double in the third inning. Talbot Kraus collected two hits and drove in three runs.

All but one of the Huskies in the lineup got a least one hit. Abe Kroening was held hitless but he still picked up a run batted in when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first inning.

St. Anthony began this week with a half-game lead in the Tri-Metro Conference standings over DeLaSalle. A win in either one of its final two conference games secures at least a share of the conference title. The Huskies faced Providence Academy on Monday, past the deadline for this edition of the Bulletin.

The rest of the week consists of the conference finale at Blake on Wednesday and a wood bat tournament in Delano on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. St. Anthony opens the tournament on Thursday at 7 p.m. against St. James.

The regular season comes to a close on May 20 with a game against DeLaSalle at Parade Stadium. The game does not count in the conference standings but to the winner goes the Black and Blue trophy.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.

 

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