By STUART GROSKREUTZ
ST. PAUL – The game and final result played out differently this time around as Stillwater held off Cretin-Derham Hall 2-1 in Wednesday’s Suburban East Conference baseball game.
The conference-leading Raiders (11-3 SEC, 11-3) defeated Stillwater (8-6, 9-6) 12-11 in eight innings earlier this season, but the Ponies prevailed in a much lower-scoring game on Wednesday. It was just the second one-run victory, compared to five losses by a single run, for Stillwater this season.
"You go from 12-11 and 2-1, but both were close games," Ponies coach Mike Parker said. "I thought, especially at their park, with the wind blowing out we’d have a high-scoring game, but the pitchers did a nice job."
Alex Haas limited the sixth-ranked Raiders to just one unearned run on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts in the complete game. His defense helped out, including a diving catch in left-field by Aaron Romportl and a 6-4-3 double play turned in the sixth inning.
The Ponies received a sacrifice fly from Christian Abilla in the third inning to grab a 1-0 lead. Stillwater loaded the bases after Wyatt Kurzejeski singled with one out, Austin Holmberg reached on an error and Romportl added a base hit.
Cretin-Derham Hall avoided further trouble in the third and then tied the game with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Nick Green doubled and Alex Evenson added a base hit before the Raiders pushed the tying run across with a sacrifice fly.
The Ponies answered right back in the seventh and worked out of a delicate situation in the bottom half to preserve the victory.
Holmberg was hit by a pitch with one out in the seventh for Stillwater and Romportl pushed him to second with a groundout before Abilla drew a walk. Zach Krenz followed with an infield single and Abilla didn’t stop running as the Raiders mishandled the ball after trying unsuccessfully to get the runner at second.
Haas worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the bottom half to complete the hard-fought victory. Right-fielder Grant Moden also threw out a runner at second in the inning.
"We had good defense and made some nice plays in the infield," Parker said. "That was the kind of pitching performance we were used to in the last few years, a shutdown pitching performance from Haas."
Neither pitcher allowed an earned run and each team finished with eight six hits.
"We threatened a lot in this game, but couldn’t get the two-out hits until the seventh," Parker said. "Our top four guys are producing right now for us. Holmberg, Romportl, Abilla and Krenz are doing a nice job getting on base and that kind of thing."
Stillwater0 0 1 0 0 0 1-261
C-D Hall0 0 0 0 0 1 0-163
WP: Alex Haas 7-ip, 6-h, 1-r, 0-er, 3-bb, 3-so
LP: Alex Trierweiler 2-ip, 2-h, 1-r, 0-er, 1-bb, 2-so
Leading hitters: St, Aaron Romportl 2×4, Zach Krenz 1×4, Grant Moden 1×3, Joe Stanton 1×3 (2B) and Wyatt Kurzejeski 1×3.