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Baseball: Pitchers propel Irish to 3-1

Rosemount’s Alex Tauer makes a double play turn during last Wednesday’s 11-4 win over Edina. The Irish won three out of four games to start the season.

Three strong pitching performances have propelled the Rosemount baseball team to its best start in five years.

Ben Smith tossed a two-hit shutout in a 10-0 blanking of Eastview Monday night, moving the Irish to 3-1 after a busy stretch of four games in six days to start the season. Smith opened the spring with seven innings of one-hit ball in a 3-2 win over Prior Lake last Wednesday and Luke Dahl followed that up by allowing two earned runs and pitching a complete game in an 11-4 rout of Edina last Thursday.

Smith got plenty of support Monday as the Irish pounded out 10 hits in five innings. Haydn Lanoue had two hits and three RBI and Dahl got two hits and scored twice. Nine Irish players scored a run, eight had at least one hit and seven players drove in runs.

“Our guys have done a nice job at the plate being aggressive and focusing on the process. So far the guys have played with energy and been very supportive of one another,” Rosemount coach Chris Swansson said. “It has made a big difference in us being consistent.”

Smith struck out eight in his second win of the year.

“Ben has picked up right where he left off last year,” Swansson said. “He has been able to locate all of his pitches and is getting good defense behind him. He has been fun to watch.”

The Irish didn’t get a quality start Friday against Eagan and it resulted in their lone loss of the week. Three pitchers combined to allow 13 hits and seven walks in a 12-6 setback to the Wildcats.

Leadoff hitter Jordan Turner paced the team at the plate with two doubles and three runs scored. Dahl and Aaron Roszak each scored a run and drove one in.

The Irish exploded for eight runs and sent 12 to the plate in the first inning of last Thursday’s win over Edina. Turner went 3 for 5 with three RBI and Lanoue added two hits and two RBI. Alex Tauer and John Birkholz each scored twice.

Dahl took advantage of the run support and went all seven innings, allowing two earned runs while fanning two.

Each team managed just one hit as Smith outdueled Prior Lake’s Austin Truso in last Wednesday’s opener.

The Irish’s lone hit was a two-run double by Alex Duffy in the second inning. The frame started with back-to-back walks and the tying run came around on an error before Duffy’s go-ahead hit.

Smith struck out five and walked three in the complete game.

The Irish faced Lakeville South and Bloomington Kennedy earlier this week. They are back home Monday against Bloomington Jefferson.