By Joey Hudson
The Raiders hosted the Rochester Mayo Spartans for a doubleheader on Monday. If the Raiders swept the doubleheader they would take a Big 9 title win but with any other outcome, Mayo would take it. Senior pitcher Tyler Hughes started on the mound for the Raiders in the first game of the doubleheader against the Spartans. Opposite of him starting on the mound for Mayo was University of Nebraska commit, Ian Regal.
Carson Beavers led off the game with a first-pitch single. The following batter reached on an error, and after a strikeout following that, Ethan LaBrash singled to right field driving in the first run of the game.
In the bottom of the first, Jake Geiger led off with a first-pitch single up the middle. He moved over to second when Kamden Kaiser was hit by a pitch with one out. Geiger moved to third on a wild pitch and came around to score on an Austin Keop sac fly to center field. The top of the second was led off with a single from Spencer Kober. That was immediately followed up by a single from Chase Gasner, putting runners on first and third with no outs. One run was scored when Sam Hruska hit a soft ground ball that Jake Geiger couldn’t come up with. Two more scored with two outs when Mason Leimbek roped a line drive double to left field. That was followed up by another double by Ian Regal, scoring another run and giving the Spartans a 5-1 lead.
The top of the third was led off with a Liam Dahl walk, he advanced to second on a sac bunt and was brought around to score on a single from Chase Gasner. The bottom, of the third, was led off with a Spencer Mellgren walk. That was followed up by a walk from Kam Kaiser, and they both advanced up one base each on a Seth Thompson ground out. With two outs and runners in scoring position, the Raiders could not score.
Nolan Thompson led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk, but the Raiders could not capitalize. Tegan Mellgren came into pitch for the Raiders in the top of the sixth and shut down the Mayo bats. The Raiders bats woke up in the bottom of the sixth, starting off with a Nolan Thompson walk with one out. That was followed up by a single from senior catcher Gabe Sawyer to right field. Charlie Monaghan stepped up next and hit a ground ball to the pitcher, who threw it to second for one out, before the ball was thrown away on the throw to first, allowing Nolan Thompson to score.
With the Raiders down 6-2 going into the bottom of the seventh Spencer Mellgren led off with a single. That was followed by a hard-hit ball by Kam Kaiser that bounced off the second baseman’s foot, putting two runners on with no one out. After an Austin Keop flyout moved the runners into scoring position Spencer Mellgren scored on a wild pitch making it a 6-3 game. Following that would be a strikeout and a groundout to end the game and the Spartans were crowned the Big 9 champions.
Nolan Thompson started on the mound for the Raiders in the second game of the doubleheader on Monday. The game was led off with a Carson Beavers single, but Thompson sat down the next three batters in order. Starting for the Spartans on the mound in the second game was Zach Condon who sat down the Raiders 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first.
After a leadoff single, catcher Aaron Reisetter threw out the runner, allowing Thompson to face the minimum of that inning.
The Raiders scored one in the bottom of the second, getting the inning started off with a one-out single from Aaron Reisetter. That was followed up when Jake Eschen hit a hard-line drive into left. Gavin Novotny, courtesy running for catcher Aaron Reisetter, moved to third on the play. Novotny scored on a single to left from Seth Thompson, moving Eschen to second. The Raiders took their first lead on the day with that, taking a 1-0 lead into the third.
The bottom of the Third was led off by a Jake Geiger double on an 0-2 count. Geiger moved to third on a Spencer Mellgren base hit and after Mellgren stole second, Geiger scored on a Kam Kaiser double. Mellgren scored when Austin Keop singled to left field and Kaiser moved to third on the play. Kaiser scored when Aaron Reisetter hit a sac fly to left field giving the Raiders a 4-0 lead with one out in the bottom of the third. Jake Eschen hit a hard ground ball that the Spartans’ first baseman came up empty on as Keop advanced to second. Seth Thompson kept the Raiders rally going with a line drive single to center field knocking in Austin Keop. With two outs Tegan Mellgren drew a walk to load up the bases for Jake Geiger who hit a pop fly into center that landed for a two-RBI base hit.
After the big inning, the Raiders took a 7-0 lead going into the fourth. Ian Regal got on with a base hit with one out in the top of the inning off reliever Grant Hutton, which was followed up with a single from Ethan LaBrash. However, the threat ended after Seth Thompson leaped up into the air to make a catch on a line drive and throw it to second for the double play to end the Spartan threat.
Isiah Stiner came in for the top of the fifth and had a quick inning of work before being relieved by Kam Kaiser in the sixth. With one out Kaiser walked one and allowed a single, but got out of the inning unscathed. The Raiders got some substitutes throughout the late innings. Joey Sickler hit a hard line drive that was caught, Oliver Hollerung drew a walk, Kyan Rauk flew out, and Andy Block got called out on a borderline pitch. With the doubleheader split the Raiders took second in the Big 9 and Mayo took the conference title. The Raiders are set to open up the section tournament on Saturday. Stay up to date with who Northfield will playing and the entire section tournament on northfieldlive.com and @northfieldlive on social media.