by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
An Elk River baseball team badly in need of a pick-me-up got a big one Wednesday as Tyler Brant’s two-run single capped a three-run rally after two were out in the seventh to clip a good Andover team 3-2 at home.
The Elks (5-7), who had lost four straight, came within one out of being blanked by Andover lefty Kyle Gausman.
“That’s a pretty big win for us,” understated Brant.
Gausman held the Elks to two hits in the first six innings.
In the seventh, Tim Sanford and Sam Krick each singled to start a threat. They were at first and third with two outs, when Matt Williams looped a single into short right field to get the Elks on the scoreboard.
When Gausman walked Gabe Viscioso to load the bases, Andover put in a reliever (name not available).
Up stepped Brant, the Elks’ No. 9 hitter. On the second pitch, a laced a line-drive single into right center, and Krick and Williams sped home.
“I was a little nervous at first, but I found the right pitch and jumped on it,” said Brant.
Coach Barry Hohlen praised his seventh-inning hitters for “discipline and focus — they did what they had to do.”
Brandon Meyer hurled six strong innings, allowing six hits and two runs, striking out seven, walking one. Viscioso pitched the seventh and got the win.
“We won this more with pitching and defense than hitting,” said Hohlen, noting that there were no errors, and Williams and Brant in the outfield and Corey Collins at shortstop made some nice plays. “Brandon Meyer pitched a great game.”
Patrick O’Donnell was 2-for-3 with two RBI for Andover (7-4).
The Elks will host Maple Grove on Thursday.