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Proctor Rails

Recap for the 05/05/1982 game vs. Grand Rapids

Preview Recap
Grand Rapids 4, Proctor Rails 2

Rapids' cloud of domination hangs over Proctor

by MARK STODGHILL staff writer

The sky was full of threatening clouds Wednesday afternoon at Egerdahl Memorial Field in Proctor, but as far as Rails baseball Coach Rich Petersson was concerned, the blackest one settled right over his team's bench as the game progressed.

Petersson couldn't be blamed for turning skyward in the sixth inning when Grand Rapids scratched out three runs without the benefit of a base hit and took a 4-2 non-conference victory in a battle of two of the area's perennial Class AA baseball powers.

"We've never beaten Grand Rapids as long as I've been here," said Petersson, the six-year Proctor coach. "It seems like when we get in the late innings against them we start to think about how we are going to lose. We start wondering when something bad is going to happen to us."

Proctor pitcher Jay Anderson must have been wondering about how good a victory would feel through the first five innings.

Anderson gave up only three hits in the game and carried a 2-1 lead into the sixth, compliments of Bill Norton's RBI single in the second inning and prodigious solo home run by Tony Dincau in the third, his third of the season.

But just about the time the clouds started drizzling open, so did the Proctor defense. Two errors, a wild pitch and a passed ball gave Rapids three runs and the victory.

[Rapids] also did their share of taking. They stole three bases in the inning, seven in the game, and as Petersson said, "kept the pressure on."

Winning pitcher Ron Renner got the winning rally started by drawing a walk. Bobby Streetar sacrifice bunted pinch runner Todd Venema to seond and Bruce LaRoque reached base when Anderson booted his grounder.

Catcher Ron Holum hit the hardest ball of the inning, but Proctor second baseman Greg Sornberger fielded it cleanly and threw a strike to the plate. Catcher Dan Sojka dropped the ball as Venema scored the tying run.

LaRoque came home with the game-winner on an Anderson wild pitch and Holum added an insurance score on a Sojka passed ball.

Anderson struck out six, walked five and hit three batters. [Rapids]' Rian Reed, for one, would be happy if he never sees the hard-throwing right-hander again. Reed drilled an Anderson fastball to the right-field fence in the third, but had to settle for a single when he tripped rounding first. Anderson made Reed's next two appearances miserable as he twice hit him on the elbow with pitches. It was enough to make the spectators rub their own elbows on this brisk day.

Proctor threatened by putting two men on in both the sixth and seventh innings, but Renner ended both threats with strikeouts. The big right-hander, headed for Miami of Ohio on a hockey scholarship, was in trouble most of the day, but left 11 runners on the bases and persevered. He gave up only four hits, two by Dincau, while walking seven and striking out five.

"He labored, but he stayed in there and threw strikes at the end," Grand Rapids Coach Bob Streetar said. "It was a typical early-season game. It wasn't a very good day for baseball, but I think we played pretty well defensively."

Grand Rapids, Region 7AA's state tournament representative the past five years, won its fourth straight game and raised its record to 4-2. Proctor, the two-time defending Lake Superior Conference titlist, is 4-3.

"We mad mistakes, but they are controllable," Petersson said. "It wasn't a pretty game. We had lots of chances, but they made some big plays."

The Rails, 2-0 in the LSC, meet unbeaten Cloquet in an important conference game today at 4:30 p.m., in Cloquet.

(Duluth News Tribune, May 6, 1982)