The St. Benedict Saints went 1-2 last week.
The team was blown out by St. Patrick on Wednesday 17-6. The Saints lost a heartbreaker 5-4 to Montgomery on Saturday before righting the ship, beating Veseli 10-0.
Offensively, St. Benedict is playing its best baseball of the season. Against St. Patrick, 8-9 batters Andrew Huss and Carter Hodapp combined to go 6-6 with a home run and two doubles.
It was not enough though as the impressive Irish lineup hit the ball around the yard en route to the big win. Paul Hentges, Cole Minnick, Matthias Duevel, Huss, and Jimmy Vollbrecht all pitched for St. Benedict.
St. Benedict played great baseball for seven innings against Montgomery, but three errors in the eighth inning led to two unearned runs as the Mallards rallied to tie the game at four before winning the game in the ninth.
The Saints scored twice in the fourth as Carter Johnson, Minnick, and Nick Heitkamp singled consecutively. Noah Miller and Jeremy Heitkamp followed with walks to give the Saints an early lead.
St. Benedict pushed across two more runs in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead. Minnick singled again on his way to a four-hit game. Bases-on-balls to each Heitkamp preceeded an RBI single by Carter Hodapp before the Mallards ruined the fun late.
Alex Donkers pitched extremely well, giving up two runs in six innings. Trey Kocher worked the last three innings.
The two-game slide ended convincingly on Sunday in the 10-0 rout over Veseli. Hodapp homered and doubled twice. Mitchell Martin homered as part of his three-hit game. Kocher was 3-4 with a double. Jeremy Heitkamp pitched six shutout two-hit innings. Duevel got the final three outs.
Defensively the team was much improved, highlighted by a spectacular catch in right field from Noah Miller.
St. Benedict ended Sunday sitting four games below .500 in eighth place in the Dakota-Rice-Scott league standings.
Manager Wade Olsen says the team is trending upwards.
“Funny what happens when you get great starting pitching. Alex (Donkers) and Jeremy (Heitkamp) gave us bulldog-like starts and the vibe and investment level was high because of it.”
The Saints have nine games remaining, only two of which are against teams with winning records — a stat not lost on Olsen.
“We have a chance to climb some,” Olsen said. “We hope to win six or seven of our last nine. We won’t chase games, but the schedule is spaced out nicely the rest of the way and if we play good baseball we expect to climb the ladder some.”
St. Benedict is at New Prague Wednesday night for an 8 p.m. start. The club travels to Lonsdale on Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. contest. The Saints are off this Sunday.