River Rats Crush Red Wing in Home Opener

The River Rats celebrate their first win of the season. Photo: Jim Wellbrock

By Joey Hudson

Nolan Thompson went four innings Thursday, June 15th in Northfield’s 16-6 victory over Red Wing. Photo: Jim Wellbrock

After taking a 2-1 loss in Lakeville North last Monday, June 12th, the Post 84 Northfield River Rats hosted the Post 54 Red Wing Wingers at Dundas Memorial Field on Thursday, June 15th. 2023 graduate Nolan Thompson started on the mound for Northfield against Red Wing’s Jack Lundgren. After a quick top of the first inning, the Raiders’ bats exploded for nine runs in the bottom half. The River Rats tallied two walks and seven hits, two of which were doubles from Seth Thompson and Gabe Heinritz. 

After another quick half-inning the River Rats got right back on the horse scoring four more in the bottom of the second. Following two hits from Nolan Thompson and Daniel Worden, Bode Detling hit a pop fly single to right field scoring one. After the bases were loaded up with a hit by pitch, Gavin Novotny doubled to left field scoring two more. The inning ended when Tegan Mellgren hit a ground ball to the infield that scored one, but Novotny was out trying to score on the play. 

Northfield added another run to their total in the bottom of the third when Worden singled on a line drive to left field, scoring Nolan Thompson from third. In the top of the fourth inning, Red Wing finally got on the board scoring two on a ground ball fielder’s choice, with one scoring on the play and one scoring on an error at first base. With two runners on and one out, Nolan Thompson struck out two straight to end the half-inning. 

The Raiders stranded two runners after drawing two walks in the bottom of the fourth and took a 14-2 lead into the fifth and the possibility of the run rule being in effect. The run rule is if the home team is winning after four and a half innings by ten or more they would win. Red Wing was able to strike four runs in the top of the fifth with three walks and three singles against Seth Thompson who came in relief for his older brother Nolan. 

Jake Geiger scores the game-ending run in the sixth inning on a passed ball. Photo: Jim Wellbrock

The Raiders were set down 1-2-3 with the third out being Worden thrown out trying to stretch out a hit into a double. The top of the sixth had three line outs and a hit by pitch bringing the game to the bottom of the sixth with the River Rats up 14-6. Northfield first baseman Grant Hutton led off the half inning with a walk, coming around to score when Jake Geiger tripled to right field. With Gavin Novotny at bat, Northfield just needed one run to end the game via the ten-run rule. The first pitch to Novotny was in the dirt and it rolled to the backstop which allowed Geiger to score from third for a sort of “walk-off” win.

The River Rats will host Minnesota’s number one ranked Legion team in the Farmington Tigers on Monday, June 19th. You can catch that game and all Legion games on NorthfieldLive.com and stay up to date with all Northfield activities by heading over to NorthfieldLive.com and following us on social media @NorthfiedLive.

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