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East Ridge ready for playoff run

Sam Cobbs has played a big role in the Raptors success this summer. (Bulletin file photo)

East Ridge Legion’s bats had struggled during the second half of the season after a scorching start.

Those bats came back to life last Thursday in Northfield.

East Ridge topped Northfield 10-8 in 10 innings behind a powerful offensive performance.

“We swung it really well,” Raptors coach Tyler Welch said.

The Raptors delivered an offensive barrage throughout the game. East Ridge jumped out to an early lead on three straight doubles.

Cal Kellner cracked a double and Luke Ringhofer went 3-for-3 with two doubles.

Also leading the offense, as he’s consistently done in the second half of the season, was Sam Cobbs. He delivered two doubles of his own.

Cobbs struggled earlier in the summer, but he’s been consistently delivering since Welch put him in the leadoff spot.

“He’s been swinging it really well,” Welch said. “He’s made some adjustments and he’s just been attacking fastballs early.”

Cobbs has led a top of the order that’s aided the Raptors through a stretch when runs were tough to come by. Welch said Kellner is hitting in the .400 range and Ringhofer, like Cobbs, has been on fire of late.

“Our top four or five guys have been pretty good throughout the year,” Welch said. “We’re starting to get hot at the right time offensively.”

Though East Ridge struggled in an 8-2 loss to Stillwater last Friday, Welch’s squad is confident it can compete with anyone in the playoffs, where the Raptors were seeded No. 5 and will take on No. 4 Eagan in Dundas on Wednesday.

That confidence stems from success against some of the state’s best this summer.

The Raptors topped Excelsior -- who won the Gopher Classic and is currently the top-ranked team in the state -- earlier this season. It’s one of the three top 10 teams East Ridge has beaten this season.

“We’re capable of beating anyone if we play to our capabilities,” Welch said. “It’s just a matter of showing up ready to play and I think we’ll be fine.”