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Babe Ruth battle

By Staff | Jul 4, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Shortstop Anders Johnson makes contact during Rugby’s 12-11 home loss to Bottineau on Tuesday.

While the final score showed a loss, the Rugby Babe Ruth team isn’t without hope.

On a dark and blustery Tuesday, it looked like Rugby was done for. After four innings without scoring a run, Rugby woke up. In the final frame, Cole Bethke started a chain reaction as he scored the team’s first run since the second inning. Rugby rallied from a 12-5 blowout, and only lost by one run. After the first two Rugby runs of the seventh inning, Bottineau’s Austin Kittleson pitched two strikeouts, but Rugby wasn’t done. Even with two outs, the team scored four more runs before falling 12-11.

“The kids really got going and started hitting the bats better,” coach Mitch Grochow said. “I’m glad we can fight back when we’re down and come back. I just wish we could finish ’em.”

After the loss on Tuesday, fourth-place Rugby fell to 2-3 in the Turtle Mountain league. Bottineau finally got a win after a three-game slump.

“It feels good to get a win to get momentum,” Bottineau’s coach Mark LaCroix said. “We finally got a win that we needed. I think it’ll help us get on a roll going into the tournament hot. I think they finally woke up and had fun with the game and stopped going through the motions.”

Neither team had a great game. Bottineau center fielder Wolfdon Thorson had three runs, the most on his team. Three Rugby players scored more than one run. Miscues were high on both sides, stolen bases proved routine, hit players commonplace. Both teams had innings where no batter even connected with the ball. It wasn’t an inspiring performance, but LaCroix said that it will have to do for his team.

Grochow mentioned that he has got ideas to do better later in the season.

“We need to work on eliminating errors and practice to get better,” he said. “It was just the errors in the first few innings that hurt us.”

Rugby plays at Rolette on Monday. The team has one game against Cando before going into the tournament in Belcourt, set for July 14-17.

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