ROCHESTER — R.A. Long might have been in the visitors’ dugout Thursday, but it was the Rochester baseball team that brought the lumber to the yard, downing the Jacks 15-6 in a non-league showdown.
“We kind of dug ourselves a hole early, but luckily today at the plate we were able to climb out of that hole, string a few hit together, and they helped us out too with walks… and we were able to capitalize when we did get guys on,” Rochester coach Brad Quarnstrom said.
The Warriors fell behind 3-0 early but came right back, manufacturing a three-run rally in the bottom of the second, stringing three RBI singles in a row at the bottom of the order.
Rochester, which had five hits all game in its opener at Mark Morris, strung five together in the one inning, and aside from one blooper with eyes, all went hard and low and through the infield, just as Quarnstrom has preached.
“We’ve been talking since last year, we had bad numbers with too many strikeouts and too many fly-ball outs,” he said. “Our approach needs to be to put the ball in play, on the ground hard somewhere. It’s high school baseball. Make them make mistakes, and we can capitalize.”
In the third, R.A. Long’s pitching did its part, handing out seven free passes, and Rochester made sure to punish the Lumberjacks as best they could, with Henry Gramelspacher smacking a 2-RBI double and — after three bases-loaded walks — Hayden Pietras drilling a 3-RBI double to the gap.
Braden Hartley continued the power surge in the bottom of the fifth, driving a two-run home run out to left field. He, Pietras, and Gramelspacher all went 2 for 3 on the day, as did Hyde Parrish. Every Warrior starter either scored or drove in at least two runs, and the hosts combined for five extra-base hits.
On the hill, Parrish gave up a free run in the first on a walk, a balk, a passed ball, and a wild pitch, and allowed two more in the second in a frame that saw two Rochester errors. Once the bats gave him a fresh ballgame, though, he settled in with two more strong innings, striking out four.
“He gave up a few runs early, but it wasn’t so much his doing,” Quarnstrom said. “And he got stronger as the game went on, so that was good to see.”
Jyson O’Connor tossed two frames after that, and like Parrish allowed three runs, only one of which was earned. Tate Quarnstrom came in for the seventh and walked four but got the deal closed without allowing a run.
Rochester will be off for the weekend before it opens up 2A EvCo play with a pivotal series against W.F. West next Tuesday at home.