Riverland prepped for its big showdown with Dakota County later this week by sweeping a baseball doubleheader on Sunday afternoon from Anoka-Ramsey.
The Blue Devils have been bashing the ball around the diamond ever since they were swept in a doubleheader by Dakota County a week ago. The hit parade continued over the weekend at Seltz Field.
Anoka-Ramsey took the pounding from the Riverland hitters in losses of 12-2 and 10-0 in five innings. With the sweep, the Blue Devils improved to 9-3 in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, South Division.
In the opener, the Blue Devils hit three home runs. Kyle Young hit his 12th homer of the season, Dustin Fritz his first home run, and Reece Steckler connected for his fifth round-tripper.
"We did a great job of showing discipline at the plate, and the team now has over 50 homers on the season," Riverland coach Scott Koenigs said. "We're an extra-base hit team. The guys did a good job of sitting back and driving the ball."
Mitch Jaeger was the beneficiary of all that long ball support and he went five innings on the mound for the win. Jaeger (4-1) allowed only one earned run and recorded a trio of strikeouts.
Brian Voigt was the winning pitcher in the late game. Voigt (7-2) fired a shutout and scattered three hits to complete the sweep. The offense provided plenty of support in the run-shortened game.
"Mitch and Brian did what we expect of our pitchers; not give up many runs and give us a chance to hit the ball," coach Koenigs said. "This was a good sweep at home, which means we're only one game behind Dakota and control our own destiny.
"We've clinched a spot in the state and region tournament. This is the second year in a row and third time since I've been coaching the team. Now, we're playing for the top seed and two of the better teams in the nation will meet mid-week on our home field."
Riverland (32-6 overall) starts the final week of its regular season schedule with a doubleheader against Dakota County Technical College on Wednesday at Seltz Field.
Riverland 12, Anoka-Ramsey 2
Anoka-Ramsey ....... 100 01 — 2 5 1
Riverland ..... 011 055 — 12 14 1
Anoka-Ramsey: LP: Hoff 3 2/3 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 1 K.
Riverland: Shawn Pape 1-for-3, walk, 2 SB, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Kyle Young 2-for-3, walk, HR, 2 runs, RBI; Brian Voigt 3-for-4, 3 2B, 2 runs, 3 RBI; Brad Winkelman 2-for-3, walk, 2B, 2 RBI; Dustin Fritz 2-for-3, HR, 2 runs, RBI; Reece Steckler 2-for-3, HR, run, RBI; Jeff Huth 1-for-2, walk, 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Winston Smith 1-for-3, run, RBI. WP: Mitch Jaeger 5 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K.
Riverland 10, Anoka-Ramsey 0
Anoka-Ramsey ....... 000 00 — 0 3 3
Riverland ..... 214 3x — 10 9 0
Riverland: Pape 2-for-3, walk, 2B, 2 SB, 2 runs, 3 RBI; Young 1-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI; Voigt 1-for-2, HBP, run, RBI; Winkelman 1-for-3; Derek Hahn 0-for-1, 2 walks, run; Renne Araujo 2-for-3, 2B, 2 runs; Huth 1-for-2, walk, 2B, 2 runs; Smith 1-for-2, HBP, 2 runs. WP: Voigt 5 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K.