OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Riding the right arm of Tony Lennox, the Stillwater baseball team picked up its first victory of the season on Tuesday with a 6-1 Suburban East Conference baseball triumph over Cretin-Derham Hall at Stillwater Area High School.
Lennox surrendered just two hits in the complete game to help the Ponies snap a four-game losing streak to start the weather-delayed season. He set the tone early while striking out the side in the first inning and the only hard-hit ball all day from the Raiders came on Aiden Hennen’s opposite field solo home run in the sixth inning. The senior allowed one walk and struck out 10.
“He was completely dominant the entire game,” Ponies coach Mike Parker said. “There weren’t even hard hits we had to make plays on. He was really good. I haven’t seen a performance like that against Cretin.”
The Ponies (1-4 SEC, 1-4) took their first lead of the season after scoring three times in the fifth, an inning that started with a walk to Matt Fronczak. Following a sacrifice bunt by Steven Albertson, Aaron Romportl delivered an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Austin Holmberg followed with a base hit and Romportl scored on a single by Andy Peterson. With runners on first and third, Holmberg scored on a delayed double steal to build a three-run cushion.
Cretin-Derham Hall responded with a run in the top of the sixth, but the Ponies pulled away with in the bottom of the inning on a three-run blast to left-center by Trevor Dudar.
“The first four innings were just like the first four games we lost,” Parker said. “We had guys on base and would strike out or have a poor at bat.”
The only other hit for the Raiders was a flare that dropped in the outfield in the second inning, but the Ponies quickly turned a 6-4-3 double play to erase that baserunner.
CDH 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1 2 1
St 0 0 0 0 3 3 x — 6 6 0
WP: Tony Lennox 7-ip, 2-h, 1-r, 1-er, 1-bb, 10-so
LP: Conor Rhoda 5-ip, 5-h, 3-r, 3-er, 3-bb, 5-so
Leading hitters: C-DH, Aiden Hennen 1×3 (HR); St, Aaron Romportl 1×4 (RBI), Austin Holmberg 1×4, Andy Peterson 1×3 (RBI), Sam Hodnefield 1×3, Grant Moden 1×2 and Trevor Dudar 1×2 (HR, 3 RBI).
Roseville 12, Stillwater 1
At Roseville, unable to bounce back from an extra-inning loss in the opener, the Ponies were dismantled 12-1 in five innings by Roseville in the nightcap of Monday’s Suburban East Conference doubleheader.
The Ponies (0-4 SEC, 0-4) were unable to solve Andrew Colvard, who scattered seven hits while allowing just a single run in the third. Roseville used a four-run third inning to take charge and followed with two runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth.
“They hit the ball well,” Ponies coach Mike Parker said. “They’ve got a few guys that can hit and we should have a few guys that can match up, but they got it done. They went up there ready to hit and you could see it.”
Stillwater did not allow a single home run a year ago, but the Raiders launched four in 13 innings on Monday. Ben Buerkle finished with three hits, including a home run to pace Roseville’s 13-hit attack.
Roseville 1 0 4 2 5 — 12 13 1
Stillwater 0 0 1 0 0 — 1 7 3
WP: Andrew Colvard 5-ip, 7-h, 1-r, 1-er, 1-bb, 5-so
LP: Trevor Dudar 3-ip, 7-h, 5-r, 4-er, 0-bb, 3-so
Leading hitters: Ros, Ben Buerkle 3×4 (HR), Danny Busch 2×4, Mike Stasny 2×3; St, Austin Holmberg 2×3, Connor Johnston 1×3, Sam Hodnefield 1×3, Andy Peterson 1×2, Chris Johnson 1×1 and Grant Moden 1×2.
Roseville 4, Stillwater 3 (8 inn.)
It was a series of missed opportunities that cost the Ponies in Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader. Stillwater loaded the bases in six of the eight innings, including with nobody out in the second and fourth innings, but managed just three runs in the extra-inning loss. The Ponies stranded 16 baserunners in the first seven innings — just five short of the potential maximum.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Parker said. “We had lots of walks and guys on bases, but every time we had the bases loaded we would pop up or strike out. Mentally, it took a toll on them to have threats every inning when we had a chance to break the game open and every time it was a letdown. It just gave them momentum the whole game because they kept getting out of jams.”
The Raiders knocked three straight hits to start the eighth and scored the game-winner on a wild pitch with nobody out.
“The kids played hard, but we’re just not having quality at bats,” Parker said.
Stillwater trailed 3-2 until rallying to tie the game in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded by Aaron Romportl.
Stillwater 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 — 3 12 2
Roseville 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 — 4 11 3
WP: Danny Busch 3-ip, 2-h, 1-r, 1-er, 3-bb, 3-so
LP: Austin Holmberg 3-ip, 5-h, 1-r, 1-er, 2-bb, 3-so
Leading hitters: St, Aaron Romportl 1×5, Connor Johnston 1×3, Sam Hodnefield 1×2, Andy Peterson 3×5, TJ Galenti 2×3, Matt Fronczak 2×2, Grant Moden 2×3; Ros, Ben Buerkle 2×3 (HR), Busch 3×4 (HR).
Hastings 3, Stillwater 1
It was not the opening day Stillwater envisioned while stuck indoors for the first six weeks of the season. The weather was glorious, but the outcome of Saturday’s games against Hastings and Mounds View were the spoiler after struggling at the plate during both ends of the unusual doubleheader.
After falling to Mounds View in the season opener, the Ponies returned to the bus for a trip to Hastings and were greeted with a 3-1 Suburban East Conference setback.
Stillwater (2-0 SEC, 2-0) trailed 3-0 until scoring a run in the sixth to close the gap, but left the bases loaded in the sixth and squandered another opportunity to score in the seventh.
“It was a tight game, but we left a lot of runners on base,” Ponies coach Mike Parker said. “We’re putting guys in position, but are striking out way too much.”
Andrew Bussey limited the Ponies to just one run on six hits in the complete game.
Stillwater 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 — 1 6 1
Hastings 1 0 2 0 0 0 x — 3 5 1
WP: Andrew Bussey 7-ip, 6-h, 1-r, 1-er, 2-bb, 8-so
LP: TJ Galenti 5-ip, 4-h, 3-r, 3-er, 2-bb, 7-so
Leading hitters: St, Austin Holmberg 2×4, Andy Peterson 1×4, Connor Johnston 1×3, Sam Hodnefield 1×3 and Tony Lennox 1×2; Has, Matt Koch 2×2.