Lion bats active early in 11-5 road win against Wolverines

LEFT: Isaac Griffin steals second base as Reece Nelson takes the throw. The Spring Grove sophomore outfielder batted 2 for 3, stole two bases and scored two runs in the 11-5 victory at Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger. RIGHT: Carter Bratland improved to 2-0 with an 11-strikeout performance against GE/AC. In nine innings (two games) thus far this season, the junior pitcher has gotten 21 of the 27 outs with strikeouts and given up only three hits and one earned run. Photos by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

Noah Elton batted 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles while driving in four runs as Spring Grove scored 11 runs for the second time in three baseball games. In this 11-5 road victory at Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger on April 8, the Lion bats took charge early rather than late as they had in the previous 11-1 win at Schaeffer Academy.

But like that previous road victory, starting pitcher Carter Bratland was again in control on the mound. During his five-inning start, 11 (out of 15) outs came with strikeouts with only one walk. The two-time all-conference junior gave up only two singles and no runs. The score was 9-0 when he left the mound. 

"Carter was really good again today," said coach Chris Strinmoen. "He's throwing with a lot of command and is really hard to hit right now. It was good to get Nic (Peterson) a few innings on the mound, even though GE/AC was able to push across a few runs on him. Nic could become an important arm as the season gets busier.”

In addition to Elton’s three hits, Peterson and Isaac Griffin each batted 2 for 3 with Peterson also stealing three bases and Griffin swiping two. Chandler Bergrud (2 RBIs) and Caleb Nerstad had the other Lion base hits, each going 1 for 2.

Griffin also had a leaping grab of a line drive blast into center field to prevent a third hit from Dawson Dahlum. Dahlum (2 for 3) was the only Wolverine with multiple hits, but he also absorbed the pitching loss.

Spring Grove out-hit the home team only 9 to 7, but more Lions were on base while taking advantage of 7 walks, 2 hit batters and a batter reaching base on an error.

With Spring Grove reserves getting into the game, GE/AC finally enjoyed some late offensive success. Five of the Wolverines' seven hits came while scoring all five runs in the final two innings while also taking advantage of two of the Lions' three pitching walks and two of the Lions' three fielding errors.

GE/AC, after an opening SEC win, lost for the first time but would fall again the next day to close the week at 1-2 (1-2 SEC).

"Glad we were able to jump out to an early lead," added Strinmoen. "It always makes it easier on our pitching and defense when we can open a game up early and force the other team to play catch-up. I'm really happy to see the early success from Noah Elton at the plate. He is leading us right now and seems to be seeing the ball really well. He almost hit one out (home run) like he did last year. Just came up short this time."

Spring Grove also won a three-inning B-team game, 7-4. GE/AC won both the eighth grade game, 7-1, and then the seventh grade nightcap, 6-5.

The Wolverines and Lions enjoyed relatively mild temperatures but had to contend with stiff winds on Monday. But a wide-spread winter storm on Wednesday wrecked late-week action for everyone. 

An early key clash between Spring Grove and defending champion Randolph was postponed until April 22, and a non-conference home game against Lewiston-Altura also fell victim to snow and ice.

This week and next

There were no games scheduled this week due to the senior trip, but there are four games scheduled within five days next week - two away, two at home. 

There will be critical conference showdowns when the Lions (3-0, 2-0 SEC) play the make-up game at Randolph on Monday, April 22, and then host perennial conference contender Lyle/Pacelli (1-0) on Tuesday, April 23. 

The boys head to Houston on Thursday, April 25, with GE/AC coming to Blayne Onsgard Memorial Field on April 26.

SG 11, GE/AC 5

SG……342  002  0 -11 8  4

GE/AC.000  002  3 - 5  7 3

LOB: SG 8, GE/AC 6

Stolen bases: SG 6, GE/AC 0

Home runs: none

Triples: SG 0, GE/AC 1

Doubles: SG 2, GE/AC 1

WP-Bratland, LP-Dahlum

Bratland 5 IP, 2H, 0R, 12K, 1W

Peterson 1.2 IP, 5H, 5R, 2ER, 2K, 1W

Nerstad 0.1 IP, 0H, 0R, 0K, 1W 

Dahlum 3 IP, 6H, 9R, 3ER, 2K, 5W

Larson 4 IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 5K, 2W


Southeast Conference Baseball 2019 (as of April 14)

Randolph……………2-0 SEC (4-0 season)

Spring Grove……….2-0 SEC (3-0 season)

GMLOK……………..2-0 SEC (3-1 season)

Lyle/Pacelli…………0-0 SEC (1-0 season)

Houston…………….1-1 SEC (1-1 season)

G-E/AC……………..1-2 SEC (1-2 season)

Mabel-Canton……..0-2 SEC (0-2 season)

Schaeffer Academy.0-3 SEC (0-4 season)


Spring Grove varsity baseball (3-0, 2-0 SEC)

W at Schaeffer Academy 11-1

W vs. Wabasha-Kellogg 6-1

W at Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger 11-5

4/22 at Randolph

4/23 Lyle/Pacelli

4/25 at Houston

4/26 Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger

4/29 Mabel-Canton

4/30 Schaeffer Academy

5/03 Randolph

5/07 at Mabel-Canton

5/10 vs. GMLOK (at Luther College) doubleheader

5/14 at Lyle/Pacelli (at Austin)

5/16 Houston

5/17 Rushford-Peterson


B-team (1-0)

W at Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger 7-4


Eighth grade (1-1)

W at Caledonia 4-2

L at Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger 1-7


Seventh grade (1-1)

W at Caledonia 6-4

L at Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger 5-6