Redbirds win 11-inning thriller against Coon Rapids

Redbird starter Dallas Nelson (left) scattered 10 hits over nine innings against Coon Rapids June 26.
Redbird starter Dallas Nelson (left) scattered 10 hits over nine innings against Coon Rapids June 26.

Isanti and Coon Rapids scrapped in a great Metro Minny pitchers’ duel June 26 which was won by the Redbirds 2-1 in 11 innings at home.

B.J. Samuelson had Isanti up 1-0 with a leadoff homer down the right-field line in his team’s half of the first inning. Dallas Nelson started for the Redbirds and ended up going nine innings, finishing with five strikeouts. He was helped by shortstop Brian Schultz turning a double play in the second inning, and third-bagger Tyler Schaff gunning out a runner at home in the third.

Meanwhile, CR’s Alex Driessen threw seven tough innings against Isanti, and Joe Axelson tossed a scoreless eighth inning. The Redbirds finally won it in the bottom of the 11th when Jake Maros singled and scored on Kyle Johnson’s double in the gap, helped when Coon Rapids botched the double-cut. Schultz got the win in relief, striking out three over his two innings while not allowing a hit.

• Hamel had to forfeit the June 28 game at Isanti due to lack of available players. On Sunday, St. Francis paid back an earlier tight loss to the Redbirds with a 4-3 MML victory. The Saints led 3-0 before Isanti rallied to tie it at 3-3. Adam West threw six innings for the Redbirds, and Joe Ramberg tossed two good innings in relief in his first pitching stint following a shoulder injury. St. Francis put together a walk, stolen base and run-scoring hit to get the game-winner off Ramberg in the eighth. Maros reached third in the top of the ninth with nobody out, but the Redbirds could not come up with the clutch hit.

Next up: at Hinckley July 6 (7 p.m.); at River Falls, WI July 7 (1 p.m.); at Forest Lake July 10 (7:30 p.m.).

Metro Minny Baseball

Blaine 7-1 MML, 15-8 all; Forest Lake 6-1, 12-3; Isanti 7-3, 13-7; Coon Rapids 6-3, 12-8; Anoka 6-4, 10-5; Big Lake 4-5, 9-5; St. Francis 3-5, 7-8; Champlin 1-5,11-9; East Bethel 0-6, 5-10; Hamel 0-6, 1-8.