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Baseball: Irish seek consistency

As the Rosemount baseball team was pulling out close wins during the first two weeks of the season, the Irish were getting key hits in late-game situations.

The margin for error was extremely slim, with Rosemount pulling out wins in its last at-bats three times.

Last week those critical situations went the other way. The Irish (7-2, 4-2 Lake) lost to Lakeville North, 4-3, and Eagan, 14-8. On Monday, they beat Chaska, 7-6.

Coach Chris Swansson knows how fickle close, late game situations can be.

"We've been in most of the games," Swansson said of the past week. "We kind of had some things that didn't go our way. A few errors cost us. It was good (Monday) to bounce back and beat Chaska. It's good to get things going in the right direction.

"One of the other things in the early games is we happened to make plays at the end to win them. We got hits and scored guys. That game they did it."

Knowing anything can happen in crucial situations, Swansson just wants his team to remain consistent.

"We talk about being consistent, be the same team game in and game out," Swansson said. "That's hard for high school kids, so we keep talking consistency and trying to work on it.

"We're hoping, win or lose, that we get better every night. Not worrying about the past or the future, but staying in the game pitch-by-pitch and inning-by-inning. Guys are responding. They're listening. We need some more guys to get hits. Defensively we are working on consistency more than anything."

Monday's game against Chaska didn't come down to a late-game situation, but the Irish were faced with several key spots early on.

Rosemount scored five runs in the first inning to open a lead, but Chaska countered quickly. The Irish scored once more in the second and third innings for a 7-3 lead, before holding on late.

Andrew Nelson came on in relief and earned a save while pitching 3 1/3 innings scoreless, one-hit ball. He walked one and struck out one.

"The last two games, he's really been doing some good stuff on the mound," Swansson said. "Right now, it's exciting. He's a big kid and he's finding his spot again."

Michael Robohm started and was the beneficiary of the early run support, earning the victory. He went 3 2/3, allowing six runs on eight hits.

Paul Eppen had two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Chris Adams had a hit, run scored and two RBI. Brady Loew, Matt Eul, Chris Couillard and Jake Turner each had a hit and at least one run scored.

Loew, Eul, Couillard and Turner each had two hits against Eagan. Loew had a run and two RBI. Eul scored twice, while Couillard drove in one run and had two runs scored. Eppen drove in three runs.

Rosemount scored three runs in its final at-bat but was too far behind for more late-game heroics.

Lakeville North completed the come-from-behind maneuver last week. The Panthers scored one run in the fifth and one run in the sixth to pull ahead for good.

Joe Waite had a hit, RBI and run scored for the Irish.