Baseball: Stong, Andover hand Elks third straight loss 5-0

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

The slumping Elk River Elks ran into a top-notch pitcher Wednesday, and  their coach suspects they made him look even better than he actually was.

“I was not impressed with our at-bats today,” said Ryan Homgren after watching Andover’s hard-throwing righthander Brent Stong lead a 5-0 win over the Elks, striking out 10 in five innings. “He’s very good and we made him look better, swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, going after high fast balls.”

The Elks have lost three straight, and four of five, after a 5-1 start that had them ranked No. 4 in Class 3A.

“That tells me the kids are pressing a little, after losing some close games,” said the coach, adding the the players had good plate discipline earlier in the season.

Stong, a hard-throwing senior righthander, held the Elks to  two  hits and one walk in his five innings. Justin Froeholz finished the combined 3-hit shutout.

Brandon Meyer took the loss, giving up 11 hits, one walk, and five earned runs in six innings, striking out four. Sam Wirz thew the last inning.

Tyler Evans had the big blow for Andover, a two-run homer. He also hit a double but the Elks threw a runner out at the plate on that play.

Sam Krick was 2-for-3 with a double for the Elks. Wirtz had the other hit. One bright spot for the Elks was they made no errors in the field, after having defensive lapses two straight games.

The Elks (5-4) will play at No. 3 ranked Maple Grove on Thursday.