Clutch hitting is the key for Black SoxIt hasn’t taken Rosemount coach Matt Tschida long to identify what will determine his team’s success this season. Tschida expects to get good pitching. He also figures the Black Sox defense will hold up.
By: Brian Hall, Rosemount Town Pages
It hasn’t taken Rosemount coach Matt Tschida long to identify what will determine his team’s success this season.
Tschida expects to get good pitching. He also figures the Black Sox defense will hold up.
Ultimately, the key for Rosemount will be clutch hitting.
“We’re playing good baseball,” Tschida said. “It’s a matter of getting timely hitting. Our hitting can come and go. We need to execute when we’ve got guys on base.
“Basically, for us to be successful, it’s going to come down to getting big hits when we need them.”
The Black Sox entered the week at 13-6 this season. They were 5-3 in the Cannon Valley League, 2 1/2 games behind first-place Savage and a game behind Burnsville.
A recent game against Burnsville proved how important the clutch hitting will be.
Rosemount had won eight of its past 10 games after a 10-0 win against Inver Grove Heights on Saturday, but a 7-0 loss to Burnsville on Sunday dampened the outlook.
“You’re hoping a win like that will lead us to be more confident going into Sunday,” Tschida said of Saturday’s victory.
The Black Sox loaded the bases in the first inning against Burnsville but came away empty-handed. Rosemount also left multiple runners on in other innings.
Loren Sjoquist had three of the team’s six hits. Chris Adams had a hit and walk, one of two for the Black Sox.
“We started off hot and loaded the bases,” Tschida said. “We had two outs, so it wasn’t a great chance. But you’ve got to capitalize on chances like that if you want to beat teams like Burnsville. We’re neck-and-neck with them for positioning in the league and in the section.”
Rosemount’s Justin Wallace (5-2) took the pitching loss, allowing just three runs. The righthander allowed seven hits and issued three walks, but struck out nine.
“He’s basically been our ace since day one,” Tschida said. “I think there’s only been two games where he’s struggled a little bit, Savage and Burnsville. He gives up three run against, by far, two of the best hitting teams in the section.”
Dave Neudecker looked like an ace against Inver Grove Heights.
Neudecker (3-0) pitched a two-hit shutout while striking out six.
“He threw strikes and made them put the ball in play,” Tschida said. “He’s been a good surprise this year as a pitcher. We’ll need him to step up as the season goes on.”
Neudecker’s performance on the mound might have just become more important. Matt Doornink, who has been the team’s most effective reliever, left Sunday’s game with an injury. Tschida wasn’t sure of Doornink’s availability going forward.
Against Inver Grove Heights, Tschida had three hits and drove in three runs, while scoring a pair of runs. Andy Schwantes had two hits and four RBI.
Rosemount put together a six-run sixth inning to pull away.
“We’re hoping our offense can hit its stride here,” Tschida said. “We know Inver Grove is still kind of building their program and doesn’t have the top quality pitching in their organization yet.”
But for now, the Black Sox will take any kind of offensive explosion.
“We have good hitters, it’s a matter of guys getting hot at the right time,” Tschida said. “We’re hoping we can get our full lineup, one through nine, and things should be falling into place.”