Braham baseball cleans table, C-I wins three M-8 battles

Winning four games in six days kept Braham baseball’s record perfect and the team atop the Great River.

On April 19, Mike Strelow struck out 15 in five innings (including 2 that reached on passed balls) in a 5-4 win at Pine City. He allowed just 3 hits, 2 walks and 0 earned runs. Kyle Grell pitched scoreless relief the last two innings for the save. Cory Ambrose and Grell doubled to start the game with the Bombers leading 2-0. The lead grew to 5-0 in the fourth when Christian Towery jumped on a balk pitch for a 2-run double, then Nick Hammond singled him home.

Hammond tossed 3-hit, 8K shutout ball for six innings when Braham blanked visiting Hinckley-Finlayson 9-0 April 18. Grell and Sam Stigen both had 2 hits in the victory.

The Bombers earned a huge win on a cold April 15 when they held off host East Central 8-6. Ambrose struck out 4 and gave up 6 hits in six innings for the win, with Strelow striking out 3 for the save. Ambrose was 2-for-4, and Strelow, Grell and Stigen all had RBIs for Braham.

The stretch began with a 10-2 win over host PACT April 14. Grell had 3 Ks and gave up 6 hits in the complete-game win. Strelow went 3-for-4, and Towery had 2 hits.

GRC Baseball

Braham 4-0, 5-0; East Central 3-1, 4-1; Aitkin 2-1, 3-1; Pine City 2-2, 2-2; Ogilvie 2-3, 2-3; Isle 1-1, 1-1; Hinckley-Fin. 1-2, 1-2. Rush City 1-3, 1-3; Onamia 0-3, 0-4.

Jackets sweep M-8 foes

C-I stayed with the conference leaders by putting up a 9-pack of runs in the third inning in its 13-4 home win over Zimmerman April 19. Cole Bakke and Austin Karpen both pitched well over three innings apiece. Ryan Epsen led with 3 RBI, while key doubles were belted by Nick Johnson, Mike Henderscheid and David Larson.

On April 18, the Bluejackets topped defending M-8 champs St. Michael-Albertville 7-3. Ryan Miller gave up 0 earned runs through five innings, with Brent Schoenwald and Reed Burns throwing one relief inning apiece. Bakke and Clayton Jennissen tripled against the Knights, with doubles supplied by Burns and Henderscheid.

Bakke struck out 8 and allowed 5 hits in a 4-3 complete-game victory over Princeton April 14. Burns was 2-for-3 with an RBI; adding an RBI each were Hedberg, Johnson and Epsen.

M-8 Baseball

Big Lake 4-0, 6-0; Monticello 3-0, 4-1; Buffalo 3-1, 3-2; Cambridge-Isanti 3-1, 4-1; St. Michael-Alb. 2-3, 2-4; Princeton 1-3, 1-3; Becker 1-3, 1-3; Zimmerman 1-4; 1-4; Rogers 0-3, 0-3.