THIEF RIVER FALLS -- The Central Lakes College baseball team clinched the MCCC North Division title Saturday by scoring 44 runs in two wins over Northland.
The Raiders beat the Pioneers 31-8 and 13-2 in two five-inning games.
"It was a happy trip back," CLC coach Warren Mertens said. "Pitching was poor and the hitting was great. No matter how poor the pitching is you still have to hit it. I've seen poor pitching beat good teams because they can't adjust."
In the first game, the Raiders cranked out 20 hits, including five home runs and six doubles. Mike Innes pounded the first pitch of the game over the fence, while Russ Jude connected in the first inning, Reggie Litke hit one in the fourth, and Nathan Heim belted one in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Innes finished 4-for-4, Litke and Heim were each 3-for-3 and Joe Bruns smacked two doubles.
It was more of the same in the second game as Litke recorded two doubles, Innes was 1-for-1, Darren Prom went 3-for-3 with a double, and designated hitter Justin Schmitz hit two home runs.
Pitching was also effective for the Raiders as Matt Parker struck out seven batters to win the second game and Litke recorded six strikeouts as he won the first game. Neither pitcher gave up a walk in the doubleheader.
CLC has already clinched the No. 1 seed in Region 13.
Central Lakes (12)(10)1 35 -- 31 20 3
Northland 204 02 -- 8 9 2
CLC -- Reggie Litke and Russ Jude; Northland -- Johnson and Olson. WP -- Litke (6-0). LP -- Johnson.
Central Lakes 013 90 -- 13 11 1
Northland 100 01 -- 2 8 1
CLC -- Matt Parker and Adam Marthaler; Northland -- Mess and Hardy. WP -- Parker (4-1). LP -- Mess. HR -- Justin Schmitz (2). Conference -- CLC 19-5. Overall -- CLC 21-7. Next game -- CLC vs. St. John's JV (2), 5 p.m. Tuesday.
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