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The East Ridge baseball team started the year with a 4-3 win over Woodbury, then took down Park twice - 10-5 and 8-5 - in Lake City.

Baseball: Raptors beat Park, Woodbury to earn early bragging rights

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This past week was rivalry week inside District 833 and the East Ridge baseball team earned early-season bragging rights.

The Raptors faced off against Suburban East Conference and intra-district rivals Park and Woodbury to open the season and came away 3-0.

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East Ridge started the year with a 4-3 win over Woodbury on April 26 at East Ridge High School, then took down Park twice - 10-5 and 8-5 - on Saturday, April 27, in Lake City.

On Saturday, East Ridge (3-1; 3-1 SEC) and Park needed an extra inning to settle their first head-to-head game of the year. Park (0-2; 0-2 SEC) had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh. Tied 5-5 with two outs and guys on second and third, but couldn't come through. East Ridge took advantage, scoring five runs in the eighth inning to break the tie and top the Wolfpack. Park scored five runs on six hits and committed three errors. East Ridge had 10 runs on 11 hits and had three errors.

For East Ridge, starting pitcher Josh Stuempert threw a complete game for the win, striking out seven and allowing three earned runs. East Ridge's Nick Johnson led the way at the plate for the Raptors, going 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored.

For Park, Fletcher Rheault started on the mound and went five innings, allowing six hits while striking out two and walking one. At the plate, Park's Chandler Mulvihill led the way for the Wolfpack, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two stolen bases. In addition, JT Bickel was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, Kyle Strand was 1-for-4 with two RBI and Max Stedt was 1-for-2.

"Fletcher gave us a chance," McGowan said. "He threw strikes and got outs for us. We did have three errors that cost us run or two, but so did East Ridge. Overall, it was a good opener. We have some things to work on, but for the first game of this crazy spring, it wasn't bad. Our boys played hard and will continue to work."

In the second game, East Ridge got on top of Park early. The Wolfpack mounted a comeback, but the hole proved too big to dig out of as the Raptors won 8-5. East Ridge scored eight runs on six hits and had one error. Park scored five runs on seven hits and committed three errors.

East Ridge's Alex Pape picked up the win on the mound, going 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts. Sam Cobbs led the way for the Raptors at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

For Park, Stedt went 3 1/3 innings on the mound in relief of starting pitcher Sam Domeier, giving up just one hit, while striking out five and walking one. Kyle Strand went 2-for-4 for Park with a run scored and Mulvihill was 1-for-1 with three walks. Bickel, Stedt, Matt Chermack and Zach Fritz all were 1-for-3 for the Wolfpack.

"Again our players never gave up and we tried to mount a comeback down three runs with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, but failed again to get some clutch hits," McGowan said. "We'll keep working and those clutch hits that we were looking for will come soon enough."

In the win over Woodbury (1-1; 1-1 SEC), East Ridge broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, then held on in the seventh for the win. Woodbury out-hit the Raptors 9-4 in the game, but the Royals committed three errors in the game, while East Ridge had no errors.

For Woodbury, junior Nick Yan 2as 2-for-3 with two doubles, a run scored and an RBI to lead the way. Also, senior Ryan Winter was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a steal, Josh Sharp was 2-for-3 with a steal and Sawyer Moon was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base. Senior pitcher Brandon Mazur was dealt the tough-luck loss, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and one earned run, while striking out four.

Following the loss to the Raptors, Woodbury bounced back with a 5-3 win over SEC foe Roseville on Saturday at Woodbury High School.

The Royals won the game with three runs in the bottom of the seventh, and final inning.

Woodbury senior Ryan Scanlon had a two-run home run in the game and Winter was 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and four stolen bases to lead the way for the Royals.

Nate Wallgren started the game for Woodbury, going four innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs while striking out three. Junior Ben Meyer earned the win for the Royals in relief, going three innings, allowing no runs on three hits and striking out six.

East Ridge also took on SEC foe Hastings last week, falling 4-3. The Raptors' Carter Stoeher was 3-for-4 with a double and Chris Richardson pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing two earned runs, but was dealt the loss.

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