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East Ridge baseball: Hietpas, Molin lift Raptors to 6-1

East Ridge junior Sam Cobbs threw four strikeouts against the Hudson Raiders in 4 2/3 innings to help the Raptors win 5-1. (Bulletin photo by Patrick Johnson)

Michael Hietpas came up with key hits, and Drew Molin threw heat as the East Ridge Raptors baseball team kept pace for second in the Suburban East Conference.

Hietpas drove in four runs on two hits for the black-and-gold’s 10-2 rout over Stillwater on Monday, April 14. He also drove in a run to help the Raptors down Hudson, Wis., 5-1 on Thursday, April 17.

“(Hietpas) is a leader that knows situations and his approach planned out before he gets up there,” Raptors coach Brian Sprout said. “We like having him up in big situations.”

Against Stillwater, the Raptors broke open a close game with a 6-run sixth inning. The Raptors had a 2-1 lead through the third and tacked on two more runs in the fifth.

“We threw a ton of strikes, played great D when we had to, and hit very well in situations,” Sprout said about the win over Stillwater.

Molin pitched six innings and threw eight strikeouts to help the Raptors win their fifth straight when they downed Forest Lake 6-1 on Friday, April 18. He held the Rangers scoreless until the sixth inning when the Raptors already had a 3-0 lead.

“He was much more efficient than in his last outing,” Sprout said. “He did a great job of going after hitter. He still has room for improvement, but this was a good step in the right direction for him and our team.”

Molin also stepped up at the plate during the week with two RBI in the win over Stillwater. He had two hits in the win against Forest Lake.

Luke Ringhofer also had a solid week for the Raptors with two RBI in the Stillwater victory and a couple hits against Hudson. Carter Stoehr had two RBI in both the wins over the Raiders and Rangers.

Sam Cobbs threw four strikeouts against the Hudson Raiders in 4 2/3 innings of pitching. Cobbs also hit three RBI in the win over the Rangers. Overall, the Raptors out-hit the Rangers 9-4.

“We took advantage of wild pitches, ran the bases well, and scored runs whenever the opportunity was there,” Sprout said.

Cal Kellner had two hits for the black-and-gold. He also threw four strikeouts earlier in the week to earn the win pitching against Stillwater.

The Raptors (6-1, 5-1 SEC) will host Park (1-2, 1-2 SEC) on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. and Roseville on Friday at 4:15 p.m.

-Matthew Davis