Rugby Baseball Team Opens Season with Doubleheader Split
The Rugby Panther Baseball team opened up their season on Tuesday, taking on Bishop Ryan in a non-regional match up at Northern Lights Field. The Lions came into the contest with a few games under their belt, making it interesting to see how the Panthers would come out. The doubleheader consisted of two 5-inning games.
In game one, Bishop Ryan picked up a run in the top of the first but the Panthers countered with two of their own in the bottom of the frame, courtesy of a two-run single by sophomore Isaiah Johnson. Ryan wasted little time reclaiming the lead, plating three runs in the top of the second to take a 4-2 advantage. The Rugby offense erupted for seven runs in the home half of the third, with Johnson providing another 2-run single. Panthers then led 9-4 and would go on to pick up a 9-7 victory. Senior Hunter Hager pitched the first 4 innings, and junior Anders Johnson came in for the save in the 5th inning.
“It was a positive start to the season,” mentioned co-head coach Greg Foster, “we came out and put the ball in play offensively, had some strong hit balls and kept the strikeouts low.”
Isaiah Johnson went 2-2 with a walk and four RBI’s to lead the Panthers, while fellow classmate Landen Foster went 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The second game of the doubleheader saw the Lions jump out to a 5-0 lead after two and a half innings, as the Panthers were stymied on the base path. The tide did turn, however, as Rugby scored a run in the bottom of the third, and then plated four to tie the game in the fourth. Each team went scoreless in the fifth inning and in extra innings Bishop Ryan scored a run to take a 6-5 advantage. They would hold onto that lead for the doubleheader split.
Foster pitched the first 5 1/3 and JR John Mueller pitched the last 2/3. Anders Johnson drove in two for the Panthers, and freshman Shayden Luna was 1-2 with an RBI, two runs scored and had the only extra base hit (a double) on the day for Rugby.
“Overall, both Coach Schieve and I were pleased with the performace,” noted Coach Foster, “we made a couple mistakes defensively, but guys stepped up with a couple of Seniors missing.”
Rugby battled Velva in another non-regional match up on Thursday at Northern Lights Field. They will be next in action on Monday, opening up region play on the road versus Bottineau.
Hauser is the sports director for AM 1450 KZZJ Radio, Rugby.