Andy Stone was once again rock steady. The Moorhead junior right-handed pitcher improved to 4-0, allowing two hits and facing three batters more than the minimum in a 3-0 victory against Fargo North in the Halvor Johnson Invitational at Matson Fi...
Andy Stone was once again rock steady.
The Moorhead junior right-handed pitcher improved to 4-0, allowing two hits and facing three batters more than the minimum in a 3-0 victory against Fargo North in the Halvor Johnson Invitational at Matson Field on Saturday.
The stout Stone credited a free pitching-specific strength program he found on the Internet - a real Web gem - for preparing him to make the leap to varsity.
"He's sort of strong, short-stature kind of kid," Spuds coach Jim Hurley said, "and big muscles, big legs. Looks like a pitcher with the legs he's got, and that was a nice outing for him."
It was a nice weekend in general for Moorhead.
The Spuds (10-3) went 3-0 in their four-team round-robin tournament, shutting out the Eastern Dakota Conference leading Spartans (14-7) one day after besting a pair of previously unbeaten teams.
Back-to-back doubles by Jeremy Smith and Derek Hittle led to a pair of runs in the second inning. Moorhead's only other offense came in the fifth inning on a small-ball clinic conducted by centerfielder Justin Pieterick - the same player who hit a pair of home runs Friday. The senior drew a two-out walk, stole second base, helped Jake Krause beat out an infield single by screening Fargo North's shortstop and then scored on a throwing error forced by a double steal.
The Spuds left the rest up to Stone, who struck out six, retired the first seven batters he faced and worked four 1-2-3 innings.
"Pretty much just to get the ball over the plate," Stone said of his strategy. "Mix it up a little bit. We've got some good guys in the field who can field the ball pretty well."
While Moorhead didn't commit any errors, North didn't post any runs for the second game in a row. The Spartans finished 0-3 on the weekend, managing a total of one run and five hits in 19 innings.
Coach Jeff Fiechtner said his goal for the weekend was to build depth by spreading out playing time against quality non-conference opponents. But this wasn't what he had in mind.
"We gave everybody a chance to play this weekend and a lot of kids have to learn some things yet," he said. "We still have a ways to go as a team."
North 000 000 0- 0 2 2
Moorhead 020 010 x- 3 6 0
Shockman and Johnson. Stone and Dahl. W-Stone (4-0). L-Shockman (2-2).
Pitcher Micah Hovet allowed one hit and Grand Rapids (Minn.) plated eight runs in the third inning en route to beating the Spartans.
Grand Rapids 111 80-11 9 1
North 000 00- 0 1 1
Hovet and Davis. Kragness, Bjoralt (5) and Johnson. W-Hovet. L-Kragness (2-1).
The Thunderhawks (14-1) rallied from an 8-0 deficit and broke an 11-all tie with four runs in the fifth inning and two in the sixth to close out their second victory of the day.
No. 6-ranked Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (10-2) got three hits each from Matt Gable and Jake Jensen, but committed a season-high three errors to lose a second consecutive game.
D-G-F 800 120 0-11 11 3
Grand Rapids 260 342 x-17 15 3
Jenson, Krause (2), Johnk (5), Kuehl (6) and Cooksey. Schmitz, Gambill (5) and Davis. W-Gambill. L-Krause (0-1). HR-GR, Magner, Shaw.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Terry Vandrovec at (701) 241-5548