MANKATO — Veteran Bethany Lutheran baseball coach Ryan Kragh has watched the scenario played out in Saturday’s 6-2 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Game 1 loss to St. Scholastica far too often this season.
“It seems like whenever there’s a play that changes the momentum of the game, our guys just can’t find a way to get back on pace,” Kragh said.”This team has dealt with some adversity throughout the year, but they’ve kept battling and trying to get better. We have to find a way to start breaking through.”
Bethany (2-19 overall, 1-8 in UMAC) was in position to upset the conference favorite Saints (15-10, 7-1) through four innings before a costly error in the top of the fifth sparked a two-run surge off Ferm, who was the winning pitcher in both Vikings’ victories this year. CSS freshman DH Trevor Bernsdorf belted a run-scoring double down the left-field line before scoring on a pair of wild pitches.
St. Scholastica added three runs two innings later when another Vikings’ miscue accounted for one unearned run after sophomore shortstop Tyler Duex ripped an RBI double which was followed by a run-scoring single. Duex, Tyler Henderson, Parker Olson and Brian Minks collected two hits apiece for the Saints, who received five innings of shutout relief from Sean Imes and Thomas Rogers.
“I tried to keep the ball down and let them hit it because the ball wasn’t going anywhere in the wind,” said BLC’s Cory Ferm, who allowed eight hits over seven innings while striking out two and walking two. “My slider wasn’t moving much but the change-up was pretty good so I went with that.
“Keeping hitters off balance is probably what I do best. Since I am a hitter too, I know what they’re thinking and try to do the opposite.”