The Elk River Pioneers, with a roster including several teenage first-year players, took a drubbing in their opener Sunday, losing to St. Michael 13-1.
The visitors scored eight runs in the first inning, including a bases-loaded triple by Ben Schmitz, against Pioneer starter Kam Crandall.
Pioneer veteran Jim Brown pitched the next 4 1/3 innings, giving up just one run, keeping the Saints off balance with a mix of off-speed pitches. Aaron Pipenhagen threw the last three innings and allowed four runs.
St. Michael’s Jared Dehmer pitched a four-hitter in the eight-inning game. Brandon Giese had two of the Pioneer hits.
“We took one on the chin, all right,” said manager Ken Ott. “We’ll be all right, once we get going.”
The Elks will now play Rogers twice, on Saturday at Elk River and Sunday at Rogers, both 3 p.m.