Sports Roundup: Agates track looks even strongerAgates track looks even stronger, SB softball, TH softball, TH baseball, SB baseball, TH golf, SB golf
By: Matt Suoja and Steve Gow, Lake County News Chronicle
Agates track looks even stronger
Last week the Agates track squad put forth a very strong showing against some of the top teams in the state at a Cannon Falls meet.
“This was an excellent meet,” said Tony Altiere, head coach. “Four of the schools … St. Thomas Academy, Holy Angels Academy, Rochester Mayo and St. Paul Highland Park were Class AA and St. Croix Lutheran and Providence Academy are two of the best track programs in Class A in the state.”
For the boys Ryan Guentzel placed second in the 400-meter dash. The 4-by-100 meter team of Caleb Hamp-Sill, Chad Brelie, Jon McDannold and Guentzel also placed second while the 4-by-200 team of Alex Horoshak, Guentzel, Hamp-Sill and Brelie were No. 2. Hamp-Sill also placed third in the triple jump and Alex Rohde got second in the shot put and discus. The boys team finished fifth overall.
On the girls side Lacey Myrdal took second in the 200-meter and 400-meter dashes. Stephanie McGregor was first in the discus and second in the shot put. The girls team finished sixth overall.
“Our kids did a wonderful job,” Altiere said. “We are seeing performances already better then the end of the last year’s season. These athletes represented this program, school, and community very well.”
Silver Bay held on for a 10-9 victory over Esko in their home opener last Thursday as the Eskimos scored three times in the top of the seventh with one out and had the equalizer on second base.
Kirstin Sandstrom came in and retired the next two batters to pick up the save for winning pitcher Nikki Babbitt. The Mariners trailed 3-0 before they came to bat, but retaliated with three of their own in their half of the first. They outscored the Eskimos 4-1 in the second and never trailed again.
Sandstrom went 3-for-3 at the plate and reached base four times. She scored twice as did Shay Viola and Rebecca Dilley. Dilley and Brittany Duresky each had two hits. Sandstrom drove in three runs, with Taylor Guzzo, Katie Smedstad and Duresky each picking up two RBIs. Babbitt pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up nine runs on 12 hits while striking out three Eskimos.
The next day the Mariners suffered their first loss of the season as they fell 16-10 at home against the AlBrook Falcons. While the Mariners kept intact their string of scoring at least 10 runs a game, they encountered an opponent that could pound the ball better than them. Guzzo was 4-for-5 for Silver Bay with four RBIs.
The Mariners got back on track Tuesday with a 13-1 win over Cook County.
The Agates lost in a pitchers duel last Thursday 2-1 against Carlton.
Madison Olson took the loss striking out 15. She walked two.
“Madison pitched a great game,” said head coach Julie Benson. “It is hard to believe with 15 strikeouts we could not win the game. The girls could not get our timing down at the plate against Carlton’s pitcher.”
Offensively, Sasha Fjeran scored the lone run for Two Harbors – she also had a hit and stole a base in the matchup. Abby Ray had the only RBI for the Agates.
“Our pitchers deserve better run-support and we will definitely be working on hitting before we face Cook County again Thursday,” Benson said.
It was bittersweet for Agates head coach Rick Coughlin last Saturday as Two Harbors fell 16-0 to Cameron, Wisc. at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Helping coach Cameron was Jon Haughian who is married to Coughlin’s daughter Kara.
It wasn’t the first time the teams had played each other at the Metrodome either. Coughlin was not happy with the way the team performed and really didn’t want to talk about how the game went. Last year, Coughlin did defeat Cameron, but it looks like this year the son-in-law got his revenge.
“It was the same old dome,” Coughlin said about the atmosphere which is no longer home to the Minnesota Twins.
Last Thursday the Agates topped Carlton 11-10.
John Forsberg got the win for Two Harbors allowing four hits. Ben Ruberg went 2-for-5 at the plate driving in four while Jessie Omtvedt went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Matt McDannold also had two RBIs.
“We’re very young,” Coughlin said about how the season has gone so far. “They’re [the pitching staff] getting better.”
The Mariners fell in their home opener to the AlBrook Falcons 12-10 last Friday after leading 7-2 after four innings of play.
AlBrook scored seven times in the fifth inning to take a lead they would never relinquish. The rally was via three singles, two walks and three errors that came at critical times when the rally could have been snuffed out.
The Falcons upped their lead to 12-8 with a bases clearing double with the bases loaded in the sixth off the bat of Cody Anderson. The Mariners came back in the seventh with a lead off double by Holden Panetti.
After two had been retired, Warren Carter drew a walk and Hunter Panetti doubled to score both runners, but unfortunately that was it.
The Mariners scored three times in the first off three walks, a hit batter and a single and two more in the third off a Daniel Wilson double. A hit batter, walk, single and AlBrook error gave them two more in the fourth.
Cody Vadnais finished at 3-for-5 and scored twice for the Mariners with Hunter Panetti scoring three times. Cody Larson and Wilson each finished with two hits and Wilson added four RBIs. Hunter Panetti pitched six innings and took the loss. He struck out 13 Falcons and walked five and hit five more.
The day before the Mariners fell 17-8 to a very good Esko team in their home opener. Luke Thun, Hunter and Holden Panetti, Zach Bulen, Vadnais and Ryan DeShaw each had one hit for the Mariners, with DeShaw’s hit clearing the outfield fence for a home run. Bulen took the loss as the first of three Mariner pitchers.
On Tuesday, the Mariners topped Cook County 10-6.
“We’re playing pretty well right now,” said Shawn Bartlette, head coach. “We are cutting back on small errors.”
DeShaw got the win for Silver Bay with Hunter Panetti closing out the game. Carter went 4-for-5 against Cook County with two runs and three RBIs and Bulen was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
After losing just one senior on the boys team last season in Casey Hanson and none on the girls, the Agates golf team should have the talent to guide them to a good season.
“I think we have a lot of experience,” said head coach Mike Fitzpatrick. “They know the ropes.”
Among the boys returning this season include: seniors Aaron Lee (Polar League All-Conference last season), Jake Homick, Mack Conrow, Andrew Kragseth and Andrew Guzzo; sophomores Alex Anderson, Jake Homstad and Cody Cavallin; and freshman Austyn Wasko and Chris Ruberg.
Other boys on the team hoping to make some noise include senior Alex McGrath and freshmen Asher Jenkins, Bryan Deming and Brandon Emmons. Gabriel Talumas, a foreign exchange student from Bolivia, will also be with the team.
Leading the way on the girls team will be: seniors Erin Hoeft (she’s been named to the All-Conference Team twice), Josie Strom and Lauren Smith; freshman Abby Cable, Courtney Osbakken and Taylor Udenberg; and seventh grader Scotty Berg. Foreign exchange student Maja Hallum, from Denmark, has also joined the team.
Kristi Wasko will be helping coach the girls team this season.
“This is the earliest start we’ve had in close to 20 years,” Fitzpatrick said. “This [the weather] is unbelievable.”
The team will play at Northland Country Club, Fortune Bay, Giants Ridge and Lutsen, plus there are plans to have a meet at Lakeview National in Two Harbors.
After finishing second in the Polar League last season, the Silver Bay-Cook County golf team is hoping for another strong year.
The top returner from Silver Bay is sophomore Shane Billings. The team also has Troy LeBlanc, a seventh grader from the Bay. Billings was the only player from Silver Bay last year.
“As the season progresses we may have more golfers from Silver Bay from the sound of it,” said Scott Steinbach, head coach. “We should be strong in the conference with the return of Kipp Sande, Zack Twiest and Billings. Kipp and Zack are capable of shooting some nice scores and with improvement from the others, we will be able to compete very well. I expect us to battle for the conference title with the boys, with Kipp and Zack competing with the best individuals for the individual title.”
The girls team is also strong.
“On the girls side of things Erica Borson (Cook County) should have a chance at finishing in the top five individually in the conference,” Steinbach said.