Huskies in thick of Tri-Metro race

With the Tri-Metro Conference baseball schedule consisting of only one trip through the slate of teams, serious contenders have little room for error. St. Anthony Village is one of those teams with a realistic shot at the conference championship and the Huskies found out how quickly those aspirations can vanish.

St. Anthony played a pair of conference games last week and squeaked by in both. The Huskies rallied from three runs down to beat Fridley 4-3 on May 4 and edged St. Croix Lutheran 2-1 in nine innings on May 6.

A loss in either one of those games would have dropped St. Anthony out of first place and put a serious dent in its chances at taking the conference. The Huskies, DeLaSalle and Holy Angels entered this week unbeaten in conference play.

Pitching is always the No. 1 component for a contending team and St. Anthony has a pair of hurlers who have started every game thus far. Seniors Joe Wehr and Nick Peterson have started five games each and are both 4-1 with earned-run averages below two. 

“It has been nice,” said St. Anthony associate head coach Dan Kaczrowski. “They’re been throwing really well.”

Wehr started against St. Croix Lutheran and deserved better than a no decision. He went seven innings and gave up one run on five hits and no walks while striking out seven. The lone run came in the top of the seventh and it tied the game at 1-1. Sullivan Jahnke relieved Wehr to start the eighth inning, leaving Wehr stuck at four wins.

Another thing that has helped St. Anthony, according to Kaczrowski, is the offense coming through at important times.

“Our clutch hitting has been key,” said Kaczrowski. “We’ve had some big hits in some big spots.”

Against St. Croix Lutheran, senior Tommy DeMars came up with the clutch hit. After sophomore Tyler Stopera reached on an error with one out in the ninth inning and Joe Wappes’ single moved pinch runner Jonathan Moen to second, DeMars delivered the game-winning single.

Two days earlier against Fridley, St. Anthony’s offense came through in an even tighter spot as the Huskies scored all four runs with two outs in the sixth inning. Peterson was hit by a pitch with one out and Wehr followed with a walk. Following a popout, Matt Tappe doubled home two runs and scored the tying run on Aaron Smith’s double. Jahnke followed with a third consecutive two-bagger to drive in Smith with the go-ahead run.

Peterson picked up the win as he gave up three runs (one earned) on nine hits and one walk while striking out seven.

The Huskies have won seven in a row since starting the season 2-2.

St. Anthony returns to conference action this week with a pair of games, including a trip to Brooklyn Center on May 11. Next week, St. Anthony visits Holy Angels on May 16 and hosts Concordia Academy on May 18 before closing out the conference schedule on May 25 with a trip to Parade Stadium to take on DeLaSalle.

The Huskies also play in a non-conference tournament on May 19 and 21 at Delano and host St. Paul Harding on May 26.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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