Whatta Game!


[Please drive home safely.  And for Pete’s sake, don’t text!  I couldn’t wait for the scoreboard to re-calibrate.  Like most Alexandrians, I was in a rush to beat the crowd to their cars.  The Cards actually finished with 7 hits, 5 in the stupendous last inning.]


[An early glimpse of the finish.  It was Hug Parker Bowden Day!  😉 ]


[I arrived at the park halfway through the JV game.  Some times life intrudes.  I was specifically invited (requested?) to be there by the ‘Y’s’ baseball moms.  I was delighted to attend.  Their boys play on the JV team.]


[I joined fellow Super Fans, Ruth and Bud Anderson, already there.  These are our Cards at bat against the Rocori Spartans.]


[Reprising the Abbott and Costello sketch, “I don’t know’s” at bat.  But he has a runner in scoring position out there.]


[Obviously the JVers were getting along just fine in my absence.  The scoreboard notes their 7 – 1 run advantage in the bottom of the 5th.]


[So, now to my appointed task.  This is Card hurler, Dan Kuhn, sophomore, No. 12.  His mom will be forever notoriously remembered as the photographer of the Fat Boys Walking Club!  😉 ]


[These, Beth, are thus for you.]



[The kid can pitch.]


[Hey, two shots in a row where I captured the ball!]


[Spencer Lucas, sophomore, right fielder, No. 1, his mom, Pam, was the inviter.  Pam and Beth do actual exercises in the morning while the Fat Boys amble around discussing the finer points of pastry.  Also Travis Krueger, sophomore, first baseman, No. 15.]


[Travis, and Spencer’s feet.]


[Grant Toivonen, sophomore, 2nd baseman, No. 5.]


[Meanwhile, back to Dan.  Hey, caught the pitch again.  Judging by the spin and the angle of release, probably a knuckle curve.  However, you have to take into consideration I hadn’t had dinner yet so was probably suffering from another attack of stupidity.]


[Parker Revering, sophomore, 3rd baseman, No. 3.  I have a question – is he related to McKenzie?]


[Jake Bear, sophomore, shortstop, No. 7.]


[Kaden Anderson, sophomore, centerfielder, No. 8.]


[Spoiler alert:  The Spartan on 2nd did not score.]


[Lookin’ good.]


[A double digit Cardinal, otherwise unknown?]


[Ditto, but he probably drove in the runner on 2nd because . . .]


[The game ended under the 10-run rule.  Pretty darn impressive, JVers!  🙂 ]


[Then the varsity took the field and began pre-game scheduled mingling.]


[Did I mention it was Parents’ Night?  And thus the invite?  Well, since Spencer is No. 1, his parents, one of whom is Pam (far left), began taking the field for recognition far, far down the leftfield line.  This is the best I could do, even with a telephoto lens, without rising off my booty (like that’s gonna happen?) and moseying to the distant reaches of the outfield.]


[A family that can literally say, “We’re No. 1!”]


[More . . .]


[I have subsequently discovered that parents are vitally important to the success of a team because, apparently, there wouldn’t even be a team without them?]


[Dress that line!]


[Lookin’ good, moms and dads.]


[The varsity joins in.]



[And the coaches take a team photo.]


[Leading off, Nick Knoblach, senior, leftfielder (rightfielder in the home opener), No. 13.  Nick was inexplicably named conference player of the week just because he had a win and a save pitching, and hit .684 (13 for 19).  😉 ]


[Batting 2nd, Mitch Thompson, junior, rightfielder, No. 18.  The Cards were batting in the bottom of the 1st, down 2 – o.  Beau Backhaus was pitching for the Cards, and, I guess, because I took several photos of him our first game of the season, I took none here?  In the Spartan 1st, Beau got the 1st two hitters, but walked the No. 3 hitter.  The clean-up hitter then hit a long, high homer just to the right of dead center.  Big kid.  Biggest player on the field.  Looked like a tight end.  In the 2nd inning, a runner reached 2nd base on a Cardinal throwing error, then scored on a single.  The Spartans 1st three runs were on two hits.  Beau shut them down the rest of the game.]


[Mitch ripped a double off the right field fence.  It was the Cardinals best hit of the game.  The Spartans weren’t chopped liver.  In fact, they may be the conference favorites.  They have three players who have already committed to Division 1 college programs, including the pitcher, Reed Pfannenstein, who’s going to North Dakota State.  With a live fast ball and good breaking ball, the Cardinals didn’t make good contact off him very often.  I would guess Reed had to have double figure strike outs in his 6 2/3’s innings.  And I’ll always remember his name, because one of his high school buds was sitting not that far away from us and all game long, in a voice my Dad once described as that of an anguished bullfrog (the change in the male voice), bellowed, “C’mon, Reeeeeeeeed!”]


[Spartans defensing Mitch’s double.]


[Card shortstop, Zach Peterson, junior, No. 3.]


[Reeeeed got him a couple of times, but Zach would have the last laugh.]




[Chris Anderson, DH, senior, No. 10.]




[Parker Bowden, 2nd baseman, junior, No. 1, on 1st base after a crisp single between 1st and 2nd.  That hit, and Mitch’s double, were the Cardinals only hits until the bottom of the 7th.  Parker’s 2nd hit of the game, the only multi-hit player, would send all the Cardinals fans home with visions of sugar plum dancing in their heads.]


[Patrick Leary, senior, catcher, No. 6.]


[Leary again.  He wasn’t alone.  A lot of Cardinals had this expression while at bat – kind of a “huhh?”  Gotta give Reeeeeeed his due.]


[Grant Becker, senior, 1st baseman, No. 19.]


[Nope, Parker didn’t score.]


[Cards come in to bat in the bottom of the 5th.  Each team still with just two hits as Beau settled in nicely as well.]


[Jeff Swedberg, senior, centerfielder, No. 2.  Looks like he got some aluminum on this one!]


[Card on 2nd, but, uffda, can’t tell who’s batting?]


[Nick laid down what we thought was a perfect bunt.]


[He beat it out, but then it was called foul.]


[Mitch takes a good swipe.]

The bottom of the 7th.  I became a fan . . . more than a reporter.  I can’t remember if the Nick and Mitch photos above are from the 7th.  They may be.  But it was a strange weather evening.  At times it rained, at times it was beautiful, as the sun was setting it was gorgeous, then a wind came up two separate times each dropping the temperature about 10 degrees.  It was a game I may ordinarily not have stayed to the end.  I’d already been on the hard bleachers for a game and a half.  And with the way Reeeeeed had been dominating . . . well, I just had a hunch.  In the bottom of the 7th, Jeff would be leading off as the 9th place hitter – but he’s like having another lead-off man in front of Nick.  The guys would be having their 3rd look at Reeeeeed.  Jeff did get it started.  Like so many times during the game for our hitters, he got in a 2-strike hole.  But then he slapped the ball into the ground, beat it out, forced a bad throw, and ended up on 2nd.  Nick did pretty much the same thing.  Now instead of the “huhh?” look at a 3rd called strike, the Cards were putting awkward, defensive swings on the ball and just putting it in play.  And this is where speed kills.  Our guys are fast!  Forcing bad throws, getting on base, stealing bases (several in that last inning), and pretty much getting a relay race going, the Card momentum built.  Zach came up, and after a tough couple at bats previously, executed a beautiful hit-and-run, as the runner broke from 1st, he hit it to where the 2nd baseman was before he had to go cover the base on the steal attempt.  I have to give kudos to coach Russ Hinrichs, for that call, and for shortly after, when the Cards had runners on 1st and 3rd with one out, called for, and got, a beautiful executed (by Ben?) squeeze play that tied the game.  Earlier, I also agreed with a Hinrichs decision (why I give him kudos, of course (ha!)) to walk the homerun hitter with a guy on 2nd and one out – the next hitter grounded into a double play on the 1st pitch.  But back to the 7th.  After the squeeze, the Cards had a runner on 2nd, but now 2 outs in a tie game.  That’s when Parker delivered a line shot up the middle and the Cards were comeback winners!


[The winning run crosses home plate – can’t even remember who scored it?]


[The 1st base coach cheers!]


[Then began . . .]


[The hug the runner . . .]


[Hooray for us!]


[Where’s Parker?]


[There he is!]


[And Hug Parker Bowden Day begins . . .]






[And please turn out the lights when you leave the stadium.]



[A lot of Lake Darling opened up since yesterday.]


[But there’s still a lot of ice out there.]


[High winds with temps in the 40’s.]


[But it’s sunny!  🙂 ]

Now off to the winery for Skilly & Duff.

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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