Polars were outhit, but outscore the Warriors

In a well-played baseball game, the Henry Sibley Warriors outhit the North High Polars on Friday, May 1, but the big number on the scoreboard at the end of seven innings was: North 3 - Simley 1.

Afterwards, North coach Ron Adams stated, “There was some good pitching by both teams. We got that big hit and run in the sixth, and that was huge.

“When they got a man on base in the seventh, we didn’t have to worry about that guy. It was a good starting [pitching] effort for us. Then Gus [Varland] came in and was followed by Rube [Nate Rubbelke], who was able to put them away.

“[Rubbelke] has been our closer and does a good job of throwing strikes and getting us out of the innings.”

Noting that Sibley had five hits to North’s three, Adams explained, “It was another time we got beat on the scoreboard, but won the game. We’ll take it.”

Starting the game on the mound for North was junior Louie Varland. His brother Gus relieved him in the fourth and was replaced in the seventh by Rubbelke.

The North pitchers struck out 13 Warriors, walked two in the contest at Kuenkel Field in North St. Paul.

In his post-game interview, Sibley coach Greg Fehrman admitted he was a bit perplexed by the Warriors’ inability to advance runners. “It was a tough game. If we could have had a clutch hit or two, it would have made a big difference.

“I thought our kid [pitcher Sam Gantnan] threw well. He’s just a sophomore. We had to put him in [for his first start of the season] because we’ve had some injuries.

“North is a good team. You can’t give them anything. They will hurt you. We gave them a couple of leadoff walks, and they came back to haunt us.

“Then we double clutched on their steals. We double clutched on our pickoff plays and double clutched at home when we threw the ball wide on the wrong side. We’ve been in every game we have played. We just can’t seem to get over the hump.”

The Polars put what turned out to be the game-winning run on the board in the last of the first inning.

Jake Steckler worked a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. Jim Bothwell bunted and moved to second on a passed ball. Brandon Herold hit a grounder to the right side to score Steckler as Bothwell moved to third. He crossed home plate when Sam Farley was safe on a fielder’s choice to the right side.

The Warriors put a run across in the top of the fifth. Hugo Muro beat out a slow roller to the left side and moved to second on a passed ball. Adres Avalos singled sharply to left, and Muro scored on Matt Richards’  suicide bunt.

North’s crucial insurance run came in the sixth. Farley worked a leadoff walk, and a pair of infield outs moved him to third. Elvin Baez walked and a single up the middle off the bat of Joey Lenart plated Farley for the 3-1 final score.

The line score read: North 3-3-1-6; Sibley 1-5-0-7.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at wwakefield@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7820.

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