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Fish win opener

Putting together a lineup early in the season can be challenging for a town ball team while many of its players are still playing college ball. But the River Falls Fighting Fish saw some good things from a pair of newcomers in their season-opening win over the Anoka Bucs Saturday, May 11, at First National Bank of River Falls Field.

Former University of Minnesota-Duluth pitcher Kyle Fritz threw four innings in relief to earn the save and UW-River Falls running back and former La Crosse Logan baseball star Andy Metcalf had two hits in his amateur baseball debut as the Fish posted a 5-3 victory over the Bucs.

"Great to see some big contributions from new players to the team," said player-manager Josh Eidem. "Kyle Fritz is really going to help us on the mound this summer. He took a couple summers off after playing at UMD and can really compete out there. And Andy Metcalf made a few nice defensive plays as well as swinging a bat well. This is his first year of amateur ball and he's adjusting to wood bats so we know he'll swing it even better as the summer goes along."

Metcalf had a pair of hits and started an inning-ending double play in the third inning while Fritz took over for starter Matt Doornink in the top of the sixth and allowed just two hits and two unearned runs while striking out six and walking two.

The Fish wasted no time getting on the board in the bottom of the first when Brian Giebel led off with a single and scored on a double by Mitchell Feyereisen. Feyereisen also had a double in the third and added a walk to begin his second season with the Fish.

"Mitchell Feyereisen is looking like he's primed for a big summer as well after another year at St. Mary's," Eidem said. "One of the keys we're looking for is to have a few guys in the middle of order who can hit the ball into the gaps and Mitch really showed that Saturday night."

Dylan Penny also had a double in the win while Penny, Giebel and Eidem added two hits each and Trevor Gutting contributed a two-run single.

Doornick allowed one unearned run on six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in five innings to earn the win on the mound.

The Fish will visit the Cannon Falls Bears this Friday, May 17, before opening up St. Croix Valley Baseball League play at home against the Bay City Bombers Saturday at 1 p.m. at First National Bank of River Falls Field.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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