Alexandria hit everything in sight on Thursday at Cadwell Park.
It worked through three pitchers, driving the ball into the outfield for 14 hits in a 11-1 seven-inning win over Lake Norden in the first round of the Class B amateur baseball state tournament.
The Angels (16-6) advance to the second round against Tabor at 6 p.m. Monday. The Lakers finish the season 7-9.
“We’ve been starting out games slow,” Alexandria shortstop Jordan Gau said. “It was nice to go out and score some runs. Let our pitching and defense go to work. It was a nice sight to see, but we know it’s one game. This is a long tournament, it’s a grind, but it’s a good start.”
Alexandria’s bats started hot from the first pitch. Cole Wenande roped a triple into left field with one out, while John Greicar, Gau, Chris Marek and Matt Wilber all had an RBI hit with two outs to cap a four-run first inning.
The runs didn’t stop, with Alexandria scoring in six different innings. After sending eight players to the plate in the first, it hit around in the second frame. The first six batters all reached base, including Gau and Wenande both doubling.
“It takes nine guys,” Gau said. “We’ve had trouble in the past stringing some hits together. Tonight, one through nine, we know we’re capable of doing it, we just have to go out there and perform.”
By the end, everyone in Alexandria’s lineup recorded a hit and six recorded an RBI. Yet Gau and Wenande still stood out at the plate. They both finished a home run away from the cycle, with both recording three hits.
While Lake Norden struggled to find a consistent contributor on the mound, Ethan Davis was nearly perfect for the Angels. Jesse VanOverbeke hit a leadoff double, but Davis retired the next the next 13 hitters.
The Dakota Wesleyan University pitcher struck out the side in the seventh during his 12-strikeout performance. He allowed three hits and an unearned run in his seven-inning start.
“I filled (the strike zone) up and trusted my defense behind me,” Davis said. “Filled it up with a lot of strikes and didn’t try to fall behind too much. I have a lot of trust in the team behind me.”
Asa Stiles drove in the Lakers’ only run with a single to center field in the fifth. Nathan Wicks was run out of the game after the first inning, surrendering four runs on six hits.
As a team, Alexandria’s contact resulted in just four strikeouts, while it also drew three walks. Greicar finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs in the win. It only committed one error, as well.
“It’s amazing,” Davis said. “You get to save arms, you get this big momentum boost for the guys. It’s awesome. It’s big time.”