Fighting Fish fall in semifinals at Mudhens tourneyRuns were hard to come by for the River Falls Fighting Fish at the St. Paul Mudhens Tournament over the weekend, but the Fish still managed to go 1-1-1 in their three games to move to 2-1-1 on the season.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
Runs were hard to come by for the River Falls Fighting Fish at the St. Paul Mudhens Tournament over the weekend, but the Fish still managed to go 1-1-1 in their three games to move to 2-1-1 on the season.
The Fish’s tournament opener against the Lake Elmo Ducks Friday ended in a 0-0 tie after eight innings due to the tournament’s two-hour time limit. They went on to defeat the host Mudhens, 4-1 Saturday to win their pool before losing to the Hager City Skeeters, 3-0, in the semifinals of the championship round.
The Fish will visit the Miesville Groupers this Saturday at 1:05 p.m. before hosting the Hudson River Rats in their St. Croix Valley Baseball League home opener Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at the high school field.
Despite scoring just four runs in three games last weekend, Fish manager Josh Eidem said he’s confident the team’s bats will come around.
“May is like spring training for us,” he said. “And just like in the pros, the pitchers are pretty far ahead of the hitters. But we’re throwing the ball well and we’re catching the ball well, so I’m optimistic for our chances when the bats come around.”
The Fish wasted a strong pitching effort by Dan Morgan in Friday night’s tournament opener against Lake Elmo. Morgan threw eight innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits while striking out five and walking five. Morgan hasn’t allowed a run in 12 innings of work so far this season but has no decisions to show for it.
Eidem had two hits and two stolen bases but the Fish couldn’t push a run across the plate.
Saturday against host St. Paul, Trevor Gutting picked up the win on the mound, allowing just one earned run and four hits while striking out five and walking three in seven innings of work. Ryan Gilbertson had two hits and scored twice and Scott Warrington added a pair of singles to pace the Fish offense.
The Fish wasted another strong effort on the mound in Sunday’s championship semifinal against Hager City, this time by Brandon Gilbertson. Gilbertson pitched six innings and allowed just one earned run and three hits while striking out eight and walking three, but a pair of Fish errors led to two unearned runs and the offense managed just three hits in a 3-0 loss.
“Brandon Gilbertson threw what was probably the best game of his town ball career on Sunday, and he did everything he could to put us in a position to advance,” Eidem said. “If he can throw the ball like that all summer, we could be pretty tough any day of the week.”
Eidem said Brian Giebel and Ryan Gilbertson, who joined the team last weekend after spending the spring playing college ball, both hit the ball well.
“They both lost home runs hitting into a stiff wind straight in from center field that would have been game changing swings,” he said.
The first 30 fans attending Sunday’s home opener against Hudson will receive a free Fish magnet schedule courtesy of Bowen’s Garage. Game time is 1:05 p.m. and admission is free.