Men's baseball: Coyotes win American League title
Though the team stumbled down the stretch it hung on until the end — and reeled in a league championship title.
The Cottage Grove Coyotes won the Twin City Men's Adult Baseball League regular-season American League crown, splitting a double-header on Sunday at Woodridge Park in Cottage Grove to finish the season 18-4.
Cottage Grove started the season 16-0, but went 2-4 in its last six games of the year.
The Coyotes were Twin City Men's Adult Baseball League champions in 2010. The team also won the American League title in 2010 and 2007.
Cottage Grove won the opener of Sunday's double-header with the Tigers, which is out of Fridley, 10-3 before being shutout 1-0 in the second game.
The Coyotes racked up 10 hits — including four extra base hits — in the victory over the Tigers (11-11). Randy Schmidt, the team's No. 5 hitter, led the way for the Coyotes in the victory. Schmidt went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBI. No. 2 hitter David Buckner also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI. Starting pitcher Matt Ruben earned the win on the mound. Ruben went all seven innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs, while walking three and striking out five. Ruben finished the year 7-2 with a 1.35 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP with 60 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched.
In game No. 2, Cottage Grove was held to just three hits, however. Starting pitcher Roger Morrison was dealt the tough-luck loss. Morrison went the distance, allowing just four hits and one earned run while walking four and striking out six. Morrison's outing capped a stellar regular season that saw him go 7-1 with a 1.81 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, while striking out 47 in 65.2 innings pitched.
Cottage Grove now starts its playoff push on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Rich Valley Athletic Complex in Inver Grove Heights. First pitch is at 1 p.m.