Confidence can be beneficial for a team, but overconfidence can lead to problems. The St. Anthony Village High School baseball team has been able to use the former to its advantage and avoid the latter during its season-opening surge.
The Huskies improved to 6-0 with three victories last week. Two of them came against perennial Tri-Metro Conference contenders.
“We’ve played a good schedule against a lot of good teams,” said St. Anthony head coach Troy Urdahl. “Keep playing the right brand of baseball and hopefully we’ll keep winning games.”
St. Anthony picked up victory No. 6 via a 2-1 decision against DeLaSalle on Friday. The Huskies got the only runs they would need in the bottom of the first when Zach Siggelkow blasted a two-run home run to right at Palm Field.
Justice Spriggs started on the mound for St. Anthony and gave up a run in the top of the first but then held the Islanders scoreless for the next four innings. He went five innings, gave up the one run on six hits while walking four and striking out seven.
Sam Melchior relieved Spriggs in the sixth and worked two scoreless innings to earn the save. Melchior struck out three, walked one and gave up three hits.
Spriggs and Melchior also benefitted from catcher Noah Bluth’s arm. Bluth threw out a potential base-stealer at second in the second inning and picked off two other baserunners at first.
“Our key was that we played some good D, our pitchers did a nice job of working out of jams and we have a good catcher,” Urdahl said.
Through six games, St. Anthony has surrendered just two runs. The other came last Wednesday in the Huskies’ 4-1 victory over Minnehaha Academy.
Against Minnehaha, Siggelkow picked up the victory to improve his record to 3-0 and added a pair of hits. Chris Schieffer also had two hits, including a triple, and drove in a run.
Siggelkow is tied with Ryan Bernardy for the team lead with six runs batted in. Bernardy is tops on the team in batting average (.571) and slugging percentage (.667).
The victory over Minnehaha Academy was the first for St. Anthony during the regular season since 2008. The Huskies went on to win the state championship that year and Urdahl was asked whether beating the Redhawks this season might be a harbinger of things to come.
“You don’t want to think too far ahead and overconfidence isn’t good for anybody, especially not good for a high school baseball team,” said Urdahl. “So I think the challenge is finding that balance of ‘Yeah, we’ve done all right and we’re off to a nice start’ but not thinking that we’re going to show up every day and win a game because of it. We still need to show up and play the right way. Nothing is going to be given to us.”
St. Anthony has four games on the schedule this week, including a conference game at Brooklyn Center on Wednesday. The Huskies then venture outside the Tri-Metro for a game at Fridley on Thursday and a home game against Cambridge-Isanti on Friday.
Brian Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .