Lancers pick up where they left off

DAWSON – The veteran core of the Canby Lancers showed in their first game of 2013 the same determination that won the Camden Conference a season ago. Trailing on three different occasions against the Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks on Monday, the Lancers had an answer at every turn during an 8-5 win.

Originally the game had been scheduled to be played in Canby, but field conditions forced the relocation to Dawson. The Lancers were still allowed to be the home team, however, taking the field to start the game.

Both teams were making their 2013 season debuts and the Blackjacks wasted little time getting their offense started, scoring in the top of the first.

Canby took a little longer to get acclimated offensively, but did put up three runs in the second to chase Dawson-Boyd starter Zach Stratmoen. The Blackjacks replaced the sophomore Stratmoen with another in Daniel Baldwin, who pitched effectively in four innings of relief work.

“Give their second pitcher credit, he came in and threw some strikes and his side-arm motion, we couldn’t figure it out right away,” Canby head coach Ryan Arndt said.

While Baldwin was stifling the Lancer bats, the Blackjacks took advantage of some erratic pitching by Canby en route to a three-run third inning. Dawson-Boyd scored five runs in the game on just two hits and no Canby errors.

Lancer starter Matt Gallegos loaded the bases in the third before a fielder’s choice, hit by pitch and bases-loaded walk brought home three runs. Arndt turned to Jordan Holmlund, who allowed just one run in 4 1/3 innings.

“Jordan’s one of our experienced pitchers from last year, he pitched a lot of innings for us last year,” Arndt said. “He throws fairly hard as well, so he is always a good guy to come in and is consistently around the strike zone. Matt (Gallegos) did a good job starting off the game for us; and for being their first time being on a real mound today, both our pitchers gave us some good innings today.”

Holmlund’s only run surrendered came in the top of the sixth to give Dawson-Boyd a 5-4 lead, but the senior would support his own cause in the bottom of the inning.

After struggling to make contact against Baldwin for much of the game, the Lancer bats struck for four runs off of four hits in the inning.

Canby strung together three consecutive singles with one out, with Cole Brusven’s base hit driving in the tying run. Bryce Gorder then beat out a double play attempt to keep the inning alive and allow the eventual winning run to score. Holmlund followed and drilled a two-out double to left field, scoring a pair of insurance runs.

“The hitting today was a little behind just because we haven’t been outside to see a real ball in real daylight,” Arndt said. “I realize that everyone is in that same boat, but it seemed as the game went on that we got some better swings. And definitely Jordan, when he hit that one, he hit it on the bolts.”

Holmlund and the Lancers would take a three-run lead into top of the seventh. Where Canby’s experience and patience had helped it to three separate comebacks in the game, a young Blackjack team looked flustered in the final inning.

Holmlund struck out two of the first three batters in the inning, before a ground out to the shortstop ended the game.

For most of the Dawson-Boyd team, which has just seven upperclassmen on its roster (whereas Canby has just two underclassmen), Monday’s first game of the season was the first game of their varsity careers.

“I would say that they weren’t real sure about things,” Dawson-Boyd head coach Preston Schwegel said of his young team. “This is the first time we’ve been on a baseball field this year and I think you can tell that the kids haven’t played baseball quite a bit.

“(Braden Thompson) is an eighth-grader and I thought he did an excellent job,” Schwegel added. “He knew where to go with the ball and knew what he should be doing at all times. We played him at three different places, so I was happy with him.”

The young Blackjacks will have to learn quickly, however, as the extended winter has produced a condensed schedule.

“It’s going to go quick,” Schwegel said. “The only thing I’m worried about is pitching. We’ve got four games this week, three or four next week and then four the week after that. Then it’s playoffs and hopefully everyone can stay healthy.”

Dawson-Boyd (0-1 overall, 0-1 Camden) is back on the field today, hosting Russell-Tyler-Ruthton in a Camden Conference game. Canby (1-0, 1-0) will make its home debut with a doubleheader versus Minneota/Lincoln HI today as well.

D-B103 001 0-5 2 2

Canby030 104 X-8 8 0

D-Zach Stratmoen, Daniel Baldwin (2), Braden Thompson (6); C-Matt Gallegos, Jordan Holmlund (3). WP-Holmlund. LP-Baldwin. 2B: C-Holmlund.