Prep baseball: Bombers erupt for 17 runs in win over Carlton-Wrenshall
The victory pushes Barnum to 4-2 on the season.
CARLTON — Through five games this season, Barnum’s mix of dependable pitching and sharp defense has become a calling cards for early-season success. On Tuesday, the club showed that it has plenty of collective ability at the plate, too.
The Bombers bashed nine hits for 17 runs over five innings in a shutout road victory over Carlton/Wrenshall at Chub Lake Field. The victory moves the team to 4-2 on the season.
For head coach Dave Duesler, the offensive success bodes well for the team’s goals moving forward.
“That’s going to be our key this as far as how far we’re going to go, because I know we’re going to play good defense. I know we’re going to have good solid pitching. The hitting isn’t necessarily always there, but we’re getting better,” he said.
Barnum junior Owen Peterson, who closed out the contest with two scoreless innings on the bump with four strikeouts, pointed to the team’s cohesiveness led by its four seniors as a crucial element to their fast start this season.
“Our seniors are great, our captains are amazing, and they hold us all together,” Peterson said. “If one guy is down, we’re all picking him up, so I think it’s just having that great environment (is) why we’re having so much success early on in the season.”
In the home dugout, Carlton/Wrenshall head coach Ryan Schmidt said his club will use the tough loss as a learning experience — pointing to the missed plays in the field which culminated in a 10-run third inning as the area in biggest need of improvement.
“It’s baseball, it’s a tough game, so you just tell them that we have to learn what we can from what we did today,” Schmidt said. ”Give credit to Barnum, they did everything that we didn’t do today. They hit the ball, they pitched well, they made the plays in the field.”
In the top of the first inning, Barnum leadoff hitter Eli Gilbertson provided a glimpse of what was to come with a first-pitch single to kick off a three-run frame for the Bombers, highlighted by a double by Caleb Hautajarvi and an RBI bloop single from Murray Salzer.
The Raptors appeared destined for a similar start in their first time up after loading the bases via a pair of walks and an error with one out on Barnum starting pitcher Brayden Carlson.
Carlson, who logged three shutout innings without surrendering a hit, thwarted the scoring threat with a pair of strikeouts.
“Just warming up and getting focused (was the key),” he explained in getting out of the jam. “(You) just gotta get in your groove and keep going.”
After adding a fourth run in the second inning, the Bombers blew the game wide open with a marathon 10-run frame in the third fueled by timely hits and defensive miscues on the part of Carlton/Wrenshall. Conner Blake, Bryce Ferguson and Salzer all collected run-scoring hits during the onslaught.
Raptors starting pitcher Jack Vernon was pulled with one out in the inning with Sam Ojibway taking over in relief. Ojibway remained on the mound for the remainder of the game.
“I apologized to both of our pitchers. I kind of had to leave them out there because we have four games this week and they were doing a good job. They were throwing strikes. They weren’t walking a ton of guys, but when we had a chance to make plays we didn’t make them, and that’s just baseball. It was just one of those days,” Schmidt said.
The Bombers will return to the field Wednesday when they host Cromwell-Wright for a 4:30 p.m. matchup. The Raptors will travel to Two Harbors for their next game on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.