The Central Lakes College Raiders baseball team is learning the hard way that it can't keep giving away runs and expect to win.
The Raiders committed six errors that led to 5-3 loss in the first game of a double-header against the Fergus Falls Spartans Wednesday at Fergus Falls in the Central Division season opener for both squads. CLC then dropped game two by a close 6-5 margin.
"We've had too many errors so far this season," CLC coach Warren Mertens said. "We're giving away too many runs. Take those unearned runs away and that's the ball game we could've won."
CLC pitcher Justin Huether pitched a solid first game, going six innings and giving up six hits and two earned runs while striking out seven and walking two. Zach Johnson led the Raiders at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI while Nate Maaske added a double and Beau Mertens went 1-for-1.
The Raiders (0-2 Central Division, 3-11 overall) had their chances in the nightcap. Trailing 6-5 in the seventh inning, CLC loaded the bases with no outs. But the Raiders failed to get the ball out of the infield and Fergus Falls snuck away with the win.
Ian Drager took the loss on the mound, giving up five earned runs on 12 hits in six innings with five strikeouts and no walks. Blake Thorson was 2-for-3 with a double and Anthony Turk drove in two runs.
Former Pierz standout pitcher Joe Kahl picked up the win in the second game for Fergus Falls.
"What we need is for some people to step up and play good defense and get some clutch hits," Mertens said. "I think we're pressing too much. I have to remind myself that we have only three sophomores starting so we're very young."
Central Lakes 3 5 6
Fergus Falls 5 6 1
WP -- Tyler Knott. LP -- Justin Huether. 2B -- CLC-Nate Maaske, Zach Johnson. RBI -- CLC-Aaron Jenkins, Josh Meissner, Johnson.
Central Lakes 5 6 1
Fergus Falls 6 12 1
WP -- Joe Kahl. LP -- Ian Drager. 2B -- Blake Thorson. RBI -- Lynn Chheang, Jenkins, Huether, Anthony Turk 2. Central Division -- CLC 0-2. Overall -- CLC 3-11. Next game -- CLC at Anoka-Ramsey 1 p.m. Friday.
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