by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Terry Hadden pitched the distance and Brandon Meyer delivered two big hits as Elk River stymied Maple Grove 3-1 at home Monday.
On a windy, 60-degree afternoon, Hadden limited the Crimson to four singles and one walk, striking out seven.
The senior right-hander outdueled freshman Brett Schulze, who allowed just seven hits, for his second complete-game wins. Hadden (2-1) has one loss in relief and one no-decision.
“Today I was focusing more on getting the first pitch for a strike and getting the first out of the inning,” said Hadden. “I was working low and they hit a lot of ground balls and our infield did a great job. And Porter Morrell did a great job behind the plate like he always does.”
The Elks are 5-1 in conference and 10-1 overall. Maple Grove is 3-7 and 3-8. Coon Rapids at 8-1 is the only team ahead of the Elks in the NWSC.
Coach Ryan Holmgren said coaches talked to the team about playing an efficient game.
“When you play Maple Grove, it’s the team that makes the fewest mistakes and throws strikes that comes out on top,” said Holmgren.
“They are traditionally a very good defensive team with good discipline, and offensively they go after that small-ball game really well. So we had to throw strikes and make plays in the field. Terry did a great job throwing strikes and keeping his pitch count low.”
Meyer, the Elk leadoff man, belted a solo homer in the fifth inning, a line-drive down the line, his second round-tripper in two games. The junior shortstop also led off the first with a double, took third on an error, and scored on Hadden’s single.
Matt Baker knocked in the other run with a triple up the right-center alley in the third inning, after a single by Tim Sanford.
Meyer and Hadden were each 2-for-3. Nick Johnson was 1-for-2 and Sam Wirtz (double) and Baker each 1-for-3.
The Elks will play at Andover on Tuesday.