by Max Mercy
HIBBING -- Blake Koski led the Rails' 14-hit offense with four hits as Proctor defeated Superior, 12-6, in Saturday's afternoon game of the Mike Bugliosi Wood Bat Classic. Ryan Lear (1-0 W-L, 0.00 ERA) earned his first varsity win with four innings of relief pitching. He allowed one unearned run on two hits and no walks with three strikeouts.
Proctor jumped out ahead with four runs in the top of the first inning on two hits, three walks, and three Superior errors. Koski delivered an RBI single in the inning.
Superior scored one run in the bottom of the first. Ben Rhodes singled to lead off, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a single by Connor Fonger, and scored on an RBI groundout by Mason Moen.
Proctor led 6-1 after two innings. Lucas Nordquist drew a one-out walk. Jordan Linder singled, advancing Nordquist to second. Bryce Huffman's RBI single plated Nordquist. Following a double-steal, Zach Gunderson walked to load the bases.Koski again delivered an RBI single, scoring Linder.
Rhodes led off the third with a triple and he scored on an RBI groundout by Fonger to make the score 6-2.
Proctor scored three runs in the fourth for a 9-2 lead. Gunderson led off with a walk, Koski singled, and Tanner Olson bunted for a hit, his first at the varsity level, to load the bases. Gunderson scored as all three runners advanced on a wild pitch. Austin Parrott's RBI groundout plated Koski and Olson scored on an RBI single by Jerid Parrott.
Superior stormed back with a three-run fourth to cut the lead to 9-5. Michael LaJoie led off by reaching base on an error, Will Schorr singled, and Joe Barker walked to load the bases with no outs and spell Proctor starter Cole Johnson. Lear came on in relief. Lear got a strikeout for the first out. An error on a pick-off attempt by catcher Austin Parrott] allowed the first run in. An error on a ground ball allowed another run to score. Barker advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch for the inning's third run.
Proctor added two insurance runs in the sixth. Austin Parrott singled with one out and was replaced by courtesy runner Mason Flick. Flick took second on a balk before Ben Harnell walked with two outs. Nordquist singled to load the bases and a wild pitch allowed Flick to score. Linder then reached base on an error which allowed Harnell to score.
Barker led off Superior's sixth with a single and he took second on an outfield error. He moved to third on a single by Rhodes and scored on a sacrifice fly by Fonger for an 11-6 score.
Proctor's last run came in the top of the seventh. Huffman led off with a double, took third on a single by Koski, and scored on a wild pitch.
Rhodes batted 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs for the Spartans. Fonger had a single and two RBI, and Schorr had two hits and a run.
Losing pitcher Isaac Rios worked the first one and one-third innings. He allowed six runs (five earned) on four hits and five walks with two strikeouts.
Koski was 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI to pace Proctor. Huffman batted 3-for-4 with a double, two runs, and an RBI. Gunderson had two hits and two runs and Austin Parrott had two RBI.
Cole Johnson worked the first three innings on the mound for the Rails. He allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with no strikeouts.
Proctor concluded the tournament by facing Hibbing on Saturday evening.