Baseball wins season opener

Park wins by one in extra inning


Ben Sanford

Sophomore Sam Hunt throws baseball back to the pitcher. Park Baseball won the game against Bloomington Jefferson 1-0.

Maddie Schutte and Talia Lissauer

According to coach Brian Kelly, A close tie made the game stressful for some players, but the team persevered and went home with a 1-0 win against Bloomington-Jefferson in the first game of the season.

“It was zero to zero in the first seven (innings) and we were able to scratch out a run in the eighth inning,” Kelly said. “I think last year’s team got a little nervous with the tight score, but (this year’s) team stayed really loose.”

Junior Aaron Ellingson said the team struggled more with the psychological side of the game, but the team will work to improve those errors throughout the season.

“There were instances where it wasn’t necessarily physical errors, but things that we could control just based on talking through it and knowing what to do in different plays, which we for sure will work on this week,” Ellingson said.

According to Kelly, starting out the season with a win will help drive players to do well in the future.

“It’s good to have a (win) and more importantly, a well-played game to take on our next game,” Kelly said. “(There was) a lot of positive momentum on the bus ride home, which was really loose and really fun.”

Sophomore Ethan Schmitz said the team will put more focus on their hitting performance for the next game against Edina.

“Some strengths were the pitching performance, but we had some trouble hitting,” Schmitz said.  “We’re going to go in the (batting) cage and get some hits in and hopefully perform better offensively (against Edina).”

According to Ellingson, the team’s spring break trip to Arizona allowed for players to get outdoor playing time before the season started, which contributed to the win.

“Especially for the outfielders, like myself, we were able to finally see balls coming off that bat. We’ve been inside, so we haven’t really been able to do that much, so for the outfield, (the Arizona trip) was really beneficial to get reps out there.”

Kelly said the player’s intelligence and excitement allows him to construct a strong team.

“It’s a fun team to coach because their baseball IQ is really high. It’s a lot of fun guys, so it makes my job really fun and easy. My only job is to create an environment for success and let them do it,” Kelly said.

Park will play against Edina at 6 p.m. on April 15 at Dakota park.