Baseball in downtown a double win for Roseville

It’s not a secret that the varsity baseball field at Roseville Area High School leaves a bit to be desired. From crazy bounces in the infield to chasing foul balls up near busy Highway 36, the location and condition of the diamond aren’t ideal.

So it was an easy decision to take a home game and move it to downtown St. Paul’s CHS Field, the new home of the St. Paul Saints independent-league minor league baseball team. Roseville was originally scheduled to host Brainerd for a non-conference game on April 23, but when the use of CHS field became a possibility, the Raiders jumped at the chance.

“We don’t have the best baseball field,” said third-year Roseville head coach Mike Ponsolle. “Any chance we get to play away, we kind of like doing that.”

The privilege of playing on the brand new field isn’t free, but some off-season fundraising helped with the fee.

“It costs a little bit of money, but we did a lot of fundraising this year for the first time in a while,” Ponsolle said. “So we’ve got a lot of nice things through it. Playing the game was a part of it, playing on a nice field was a part of it.”

Ponsolle didn’t get any argument from Brainerd head coach Lowell Scearcy, either.

“He was happy to be here,” Ponsolle said.

Good day for a game

After a cloudy and chilly start to the week, Roseville and Brainerd lucked out with the conditions on Thursday. The sun emerged, the winds subsided and the temperature warmed, making for a pleasant day at the ballpark.

One final thing also made the afternoon perfect for the Raiders: They pulled out an 8-4 victory over the 12th-ranked Warriors.

“Today made me really happy with the direction we’re going,” Ponsolle noted.

The battery of pitcher Kyle Koncilja and catcher Tim Pasiuk had a lot to do with the victory. Koncilja started and held Brainerd scoreless through the first four innings before running into some trouble in the sixth.

Noah Lyden relieved Koncilja in the sixth after Brainerd pulled within a run at 5-4. Lyden got out of the sixth without allowing any further damage, but got into a jam in the seventh. After getting the first two outs, Lyden gave up two hits and hit a batter to load the bases.

Ponsolle went to the bullpen one last time and brought in Michael Jacobson, who closed out the game and earned a save with a strikeout.

Roseville’s offense started with Pasiuk, who went three-for-three at the plate with three runs batted in.

The Raiders got things started with a run in the third as Ian Harlander singled to drive in Jesper Horsted, who with one out walked, stole second and took third on a throwing error on the steal.

Brainerd answered with a run in the top of the fifth, but Roseville came right back with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Horsted led off with a single and Harlander followed by reaching on an error on his sacrifice bunt attempt. Teague Bogenholm then bunted both runners up a base. Evan Young singled to plate Horsted and Jacobson’s single brought home Harlander.

Young went from first to third on Jacobson’s hit and Jacobson stole second during Pasuik’s ensuing at bat. Pasiuk eventually singled to drive in both Young and Jacobson.

After the Warriors made it a one-run game in the top of the sixth, Roseville restored its cushion with three runs in the bottom of the sixth and did all the damage with two outs. Harlander got the rally going by reaching on an error. Bogenholm followed with an infield single and both runners took another base on an error.

Young then singled to drive in Harlander and Pasiuk picked up his third RBI with a single that plated Young.

‘Best athlete in the state’

The victory gave Roseville back-to-back victories for the second time this season. The Raiders then made it three in a row with a 4-2 triumph over third-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall on Friday.

Against Cretin-Derham Hall, Roseville never trailed as it scored two in the top of the first and one in the second. CDH scored single runs in the third and fourth, but would get no closer.

Roseville got single-RBI efforts from Thomas Anderson, Jacobson, Young and Bogenholm. Anderson and Luke Newton both had two-hit games.

On the mound, Bogenholm gave up two runs on five hits, walked four and struck out four.

Roseville opened last week with a 4-2 loss to defending state champion Mounds View, but bounced back with a wild, 10-9 win over Park-Cottage Grove. Horsted had a monster game in which he was four-for-five with four runs scored and one driven in. Harlander had three hits and three RBI and Bogenholm drove in two runs on two hits.

Despite all that offense, the game wasn’t over until Horsted drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.

“He’s on fire right now,” Ponsolle said of Horsted. “He’s our guy. He’s the best athlete in the state, I think.”

Princeton University of the Ivy League might also agree. Horsted is headed there this fall and he will play both football and baseball for the Tigers. Heading into this week, Horsted leads the team in hits, runs and stolen bases.

The Cretin-Derham Hall game marked the midway point of the Suburban East Conference schedule. Roseville enters the second half two games out of first place, which is occupied by Mounds View. CDH is a game behind the Mustangs in second while Roseville, Stillwater and Woodbury are tied for third.

Roseville is back in action five times this week, including a home game against Woodbury on Wednesday. The Raiders then travel to White Bear Lake on Friday before playing a pair of non-conference games in Alexandria on Saturday. Roseville plays Holy Angels and the host Cardinals as part of a three-team, round-robin event.

The Raiders opened the week at Forest Lake on Monday, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

Concordia Academy

The Beacons picked up probably their biggest win of the spring when they bounced St. Croix Lutheran 9-6 on Friday. It was their second victory of the season and first in Tri-Metro Conference play.

Concordia Academy handed St. Croix Lutheran its first loss of the season by scoring three runs in the top of the seventh. Adam Maser drove in the game-winning run and Andrew Erath plated two more for some extra breathing room.

Cole Schuessler picked up the victory on the mound.

The Beacons have three games on the schedule this week and all against conference opponents. They travel to Columbia Heights on Wednesday and host Fridley on Friday. Concordia also hosted St. Agnes on Monday, past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

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


Suburban East Conference baseball standings (through April 26)
     Conf.    Overall    Games behind
Mounds View 7-1 8-1 -
Cretin-Derham Hall 6-2 8-2 1
Roseville 5-3 7-3 2
Stillwater 5-3 7-3 2
Woodbury 5-3 6-4 2
East Ridge 4-4 5-4 3
Forest Lake 3-5 4-5 4
Park-Cottage Grove 1-7 2-7 6
White Bear Lake 0-8 0-10 7

 

Tri-Metro Conference baseball standings (through April 26)
    Conf. Overall Games behind
DeLaSalle 4-0 7-3 -
Holy Angels 1-0 6-2 1 1/2
St. Anthony Village 1-0 3-4 1 1/2
Fridley  1-1 4-4 2
St. Agnes 1-1 6-4 2
Concordia Academy 1-2 2-5 2 1/2
St. Croix Lutheran 0-1 2-1-1 2 1/2
Brooklyn Center 0-2 0-5 3
Columbia Heights 0-2 5-3 3

 

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