Baseball: Pioneers split with East Bethel

Elk River Pioneers dueled East Bethel in two straight games and came away with a split, brining their record to 4-8. The Pioneers are hosting Coon Rapids on Sunday at 3 p.m. and will play at Quamba on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

East Bethel 6, Pioneers 4

The Pioneers and Aaron Pipenhagen took a 2-1 lead into the top of the ninth on Saturday, June 30,  but East Bethel scored five runs. Michael Buck and Alex Zentzeig each singled home a run to take the lead before Jon Slemmer blasted a three-run homer.

Elk River got two back in the last of the ninth on RBI singles by Mike Lorden and Cory Kaminski but left the two tying runs on base.

Pipenhagen took the loss (four runs, 10 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings). Alex Hoff finished and gave up the homer.

Erik Zentzis got the win for the Bandits (2-11)


Pioneers 13, East Bethel 2

Lance Johnson pounded three doubles, driving home four runs and scoring four times himself, as the Pioneers routed East Bethel in he rematch at St. Francis on Friday, July 6.

Brandon Giese, primarily an outfielder when he played for Zimmerman High School, pitched a seven-inning complete game in his first town-team start. He walked five batters and hit two others but gave up just four hits and struck out five.

Elk River’s top five batters in the lineup got on base a  combined 17  times in 24 at-bats. Kaminski was 1-for-2 plus two walks and one hit-by-pitch, scoring twice. Mike Lorden was 3-for-5 with four runs and two steals. Aaron Pipenhagen was 3-for-4 (double, walk, two runs, RBI), Johnson 3-for-5, and Giese 2-for-4 (RBI).

Matt Topeff took the loss for East Bethel and Zentis was 2-for-4.