by Eric Oslund
The Elk River Wood Ducks went on a 13-day hiatus following their first-place finish in the Nimrod tournament back on June 25, but they returned to action on July 8 as they hosted the Ramsey Renegades in a double header at Hales Field.
The home team was riding a 3-game winning streak heading into this game and looked to Austin Heuer to keep it going in Game 1. It was the first time this season he had pitched for the Wood Ducks, but you would have never guessed as he ended up going 7 1/3 innings.
He allowed two runs in the first inning, and just appeared to get stronger and stronger after that, taking control of the game. That is, until the eighth inning when he ran into a little trouble.
Mitch Mossman entered the game in the top of the eighth inning to record the final two outs, and they did not come easy. Ramsey had the bases loaded with one out to go and their batter ripped a shot to the outfield. It looked as though it would fall, which would have led to the go-ahead run, but right fielder Devin Quigley was able to come up with the diving catch to keep the game tied 2-2.
The Woodies had a chance to walk the game off in the bottom of the eighth and quickly loaded the bases with hits by Brennan Beese and Mack Riley, and then a walk to Mossman. They were one pitch away from winning the game. Jordan Brown stepped into the batters box and took a pitch off the knee, sending him to first and the winning run across the plate as they took the first game 3-2.
In the second game of the double header, Mossman would be back on the mound, but this time as a starter. Clearly still fresh from his win in Game 1 – it actually seemed to warm him up – he went all seven innings with six strikeouts as the Woodies looked to sweep their opponents.
He would get all the run support he would need in the first inning as hits from Ben Johnson, Riley and Aaron Pipenhagen gave them a 3-0 start, and they would never look back.
Mossman had a little hiccup in the sixth inning, allowing two runs to score, but he maintained his composure, closed out the inning and eventually the game as the Wood Ducks once again went on to win 3-2.
They looked to continue to build on their 5-game win streak, but hit a speed bump when they traveled south to Rogers.
Johnson would get the start on the mound, but left after one inning with an arm strain, and the score tied 1-1. The team appeared to lose steam after that as they would only muster one more run for the rest of the game, while Rogers only seemed to get stronger – going on to win 7-2.
The Wood Ducks’ next game is July 14 on the road against the Cold Spring Springers.