RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- River Falls Fighting Fish pitcher Kyle Fritz is never going to complain about pitching on the new artificial turf at First National Bank of River Falls Field.
“I think the game just becomes a little bit faster,” he said. “I’m not going to complain though because we get the same thing.”
Fritz, who had a total of seven at-bats last season, legged out a triple on a ball that fell in the left-center field gap and rolled all the way to the wall on the turf in the Fish’s 10-0 non-league victory over the Faribault Lakers Friday night, July 10. Sunday, July 12, he was the winning pitcher in the team’s 7-5 St. Croix Valley Baseball League win over the Spring Valley Hawks.
Sunday’s win, coupled with a 3-0 shutout victory over the Prescott Pirates the night before, moved the Fish to 3-0 in league play (7-4 overall) heading into a showdown with Hudson Wednesday night, July 15, at home. The River Rats picked up their first league win with a 3-0 victory at Plum City Saturday.
Fritz left Sunday’s game against the Hawks with a 7-4 lead after seven innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Charlie Griffin allowed a run in the eighth before Matt Doornink shut the door in the ninth to give the Fish their third straight win.
Brain Giebel banged out four hits, including a double, and had an RBI and run scored while Dylan Penny doubled twice and drove in two runs.
Less than 18 hours earlier, Weston Lombard and Jake Lindsay combined on a three-hit shutout in a 3-0 victory over Prescott. Lombard allowed two hits and struck out seven in six innings of work before Lindsay earned the save while striking out four and allowing one hit over the final three innings.
River Falls jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on back-to-back leadoff walks to Giebel and Trey Larson, a sacrifice bunt by Ty Denzer, an RBI groundout from Lucas Luedtke and a single by Joel Schaffer. Luedtke drove in Larson with a single in the fifth for the Fish’s third run.
Hudson blanks Plum City in league opener
Saturday afternoon in Plum City, Dennis Reinhardt threw eight innings of two-hit ball and Luke Lemay homered as the Hudson River Rats won their SCVBL opener with a 3-0 victory over the Blues.
Reinhardt struck out eight and walked two and induced a game-ending double play after relieving starter Sam Glade in the second inning. Brent Blegen had two hits and an RBI at the plate as the Rats got single runs in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings.
League play continues with a full slate Wednesday, July 15, including Hudson visiting River Falls and New Richmond at Plum City. The Millers dropped their SCVBL opener at home to the Ellsworth Hubbers, 6-3, last Friday.
Hudson will visit Ellsworth Friday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. while River Falls and New Richmond will both be home Saturday, July 18 with the Fish hosting the Bay City Bombers at 7 p.m. and the Millers hosting the Menomonie Eagles at 7:30 p.m. River Falls and New Richmond will both be on the road for 1 p.m. matinee games Sunday, July 18, with the Fish visiting Elmwood and the Millers traveling to Prescott.