The Carlton baseball team got its record to the sunny side of .500 on Tuesday, May 7, with a 7-5 win over neighboring Wrenshall.
The Bulldogs jumped ahead 1-0 early and then defensive issues helped the Wrens take a 4-1 lead. Trailing 4-2 in the fifth inning, it was Wrenshall's turn to have trouble in the field, and the Bulldogs scored four runs to take a 6-5 lead. Peyton Schmidt's RBI single tied the game and Dan Eggert followed with what proved to be the eventual game-winning hit.
Carlton added a single run in the sixth for a 7-5 win.
Carlton snapped a two-game losing skid with the win, while Wrenshall (2-7) has now dropped four straight games heading into the Thursday, May 9, matchup with Barnum.
Ryan Gray worked five innings for the win for Carlton, scattering three hits and allowing one earned run while striking out five. Kaden Crane drove in three runs for the Bulldogs and stole a base while Kristian Herman had two hits for Carlton.
Crane also earned a save in the game, pitching the last two innings and striking out four.
Andrew Silverio was the hard-luck losing pitcher for Wrenshall, going six innings and allowing only three earned runs while striking out four. He also had three hits in four trips to the plate to help his own cause.
"Ryan threw well," Carlton coach Ryan Schmidt said. "Mistakes behind him put him in a tough spot but he did a good job after the four-run inning of keeping the game within reach until we were able to generate some offense."
Defense has been an issue, though.
"We've had trouble the last couple games picking up the ball," Schmidt said. "Any team that makes errors will not win games so we are absolutely trying to clean that up."
To do that, though, you need practice time, and that's one thing very few teams have had this spring.
"When you have more games than you have outdoor practices, it sometimes affects your play on the field, but everyone is in the same boat, so you have to suck it up and play ball," Schmidt said. "Coming off a trip to the section finals, we have high expectations for ourselves."
With the rapidly condensed schedule coming to a close, Carlton faces Two Harbors on Friday, May 10, and Mesabi East on Saturday, May 11 before the last full week of the regular season begins next week. The Bulldogs have five games remaining.
Wrenshall faces Barnum on Thursday, May 9, and North Woods on Monday, May 13. They will have three games in the last week of the regular season against Cherry, Two Harbors and Northeast Range.