Bats come alive early in Trojan baseball team's 6-4 win over Redwood Valley

Apr. 12—WORTHINGTON — The bats came alive early for the Worthington High School baseball team in its 6-4 win over Redwood Valley on Friday.

After the first three innings where they scored all six of their runs, solid pitching and defense helped the Trojans hold onto their lead to clinch the victory.

The win improves Worthington's record to 3-1 and first year head coach Steve Robinson said he's been pleased with how his team has been executing on the fundamentals, which are leading to wins early in the season.

"We have been playing really good clean defensive games," Robinson said. "We had a few mistakes today, we are more concerned about or want to work on some of the mental errors that were made today. We expect physical errors (but) we try and eliminate those mental errors whether it's base running or whatever, but I'm very pleased. We have a very thin team, so the guys are playing great and again, it's pitching and defense that's just winning games. We got a lot of nice hits today, the bats kind of finally came around, so we're pleased with that."

The Trojans started quickly when the first two batters in Emmanuel Saravia and Tucker Brandner each reached base. Brandon Bosma batted third and hit an RBI single that scored Saravia and then Maxwell Ostrem hit a sacrifice bunt that scored Brandner and gave WHS a 2-0 lead.

They added two more runs in the second inning on an RBI single from Saravia that scored Dawson Svalland and then a Redwood Valley error on a throw trying to get Brandner out at first scored Saravia for a 4-0 Trojan lead.

After the Cardinals scored their first run in the top of the third off an error, the Trojans responded with two more runs in the bottom frame. It started when Cade Grimmius drew a walk and then Austin Gruis hit a single to put runners at first and second. Another Redwood Valley error then scored Worthington's fifth run of the game before Dominic Pavelko hit a two-out RBI single to put WHS ahead 6-1.

"It's just been the guys practicing and concentrating and working on putting the ball in play,"Robinson said. "You know, we don't have to drive the ball, just get it in, put the ball in play and make them catch it. Good things will happen when the ball is in play."

From there, it was all about pitching and defense, especially in key moments to get out of scoring threats that helped seal the deal for the Trojans.

The Cardinals scored two runs in the top of the fifth and had another in scoring position with two outs when Grimmius, who started the game on the mound for WHS, got a key strikeout to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, the Cardinals were again threatening with one out when Grimmius left after five and a third solid innings. Brandner came in and immediately got a strikeout for out number two. Redwood Valley then scored on a high pitch that made the score 6-4 with runners at second and third.

Brandner pitched his way out of that jam with a big strikeout to end the inning and limit the damage. He then pitched the final three outs in the seventh to earn the save.

"We just needed him to come in and throw strikes, that's all we needed," Robinson said. "He's got enough velocity that he's tough to hit no matter what, so we just needed strikes. And Cade had thrown a lot of pitches. He had done his job and it was time to let Tucker come in and finish it up."

The Trojans will look to keep their early-season momentum going on Tuesday when they host a tough Marshall team in a Big South Conference matchup.

"It's satisfying to see the guys take the instruction that we're putting out there and being able to be successful performing on the field," Robinson said. "...They earned this, there's nine guys out there, they won this game. Everything they did, they fought through, we had some shaky innings and got some runs scored on us, but they didn't get flustered. They just played hard and concentrated and made the outs."

Redwood Valley 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 — 4

Worthington 2 2 2 0 0 0 x — 6