Baseball: Rosemount enters section play feeling good
Despite a 5-15 regular season, Rosemount baseball coach Chris Swansson feels pretty good about his team heading into the section tournament.
"We won three out of our last six, so we feel pretty good about that. We feel like we've had some ups and downs, but our guys have started to come around and win some of these close games," he said. "We're excited. We feel like we have just as good of a shot as a lot of teams."
The Irish started their late-season upswing with back-to-back wins over the two Bloomington schools two weeks ago. They then lost 4-3 to Lakeville North, their sixth one-run loss of the season. In all, the Irish have lost 12 games by a combined 18 runs.
A big reason for all those close losses has been an offense that's scoring just 2.75 runs per game this season. It produced just eight runs over the final four games of the regular season, three of which came in a 3-1 win over Lakeville South in the South Suburban Conference Showcase Saturday at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville.
The Irish finally bunched their hits together against the Cougars, producing five of their seven runs in the third inning. Chris Leske, Anthony Winters and Nick Seipel each drove in runs with singles.
"That's kind of been the story for us. We're getting guys on base, but not getting the hits to get those extra runs," Swansson said. "That was a nice change of pace for us."
Three runs were all the support necessary for starter Jake Schulze, who worked all seven innings to pick up his third win of the year. He struck out four, walked none and lowered his ERA to 2.68 in 34 innings this season. He also worked quickly, as the game was completed in a brisk 1 hour, 16 minutes.
"That tells you how efficient he was on the mound," Swansson said. "He pitched really well. He was around the plate and changing up his pitches to keep them off balance."
Seipel started on the mound in last Wednesday's conference finale and had less luck against No. 1-ranked Burnsville.
The Blaze scored five runs in the first four innings and improved to 17-2 with a 6-1 win.
Rosemount had seven hits, including two from Anthony Winters, but didn't get in the scoring column until Seipel's RBI single in the sixth.
The Irish open section tournament play on the road tomorrow night. Their opponent and the location of the game have yet to be determined.