Errors, walks plague Bulldogs against Enderlin
LANGDON – Clean defense and efficient pitching lifted the Burlington Bulldogs to an improbable title at the Class B West Region tournament last weekend. Wednesday against Enderlin, the same two facets resulted in their first-round demise.
The Railcats blitzed Burlington during the first round of the Class B American Legion baseball state tournament, clipping starter Cole Grosche for 13 runs on 11 hits en route to a 13-0 rout.
Grosche also surrendered five walks – including three during a five-run Enderlin third – in addition to the four errors committed behind him.
“When you give teams extra extra outs like that, the percentage of them coming around to score is extreme,” Burlington coach Andrew Roach said. “It’s gets harder to win when you give those up.”
With the win, Enderlin (28-9) continues in the winners’ bracket, taking on Carrington at 7 p.m. today in the second round. The Bulldogs (9-12) square off against Langdon this afternoon at 1.
In sharp contrast to miscue-prone Burlington, the Railcats were clinical in all aspects of the game, particularly in the field.
It all started with Enderlin starter Daniel Lindgren, who was nearly perfect. Over five innings, he allowed just two Burlington hits – both of which came in the third – and no walks while striking out seven.
“I felt good out there,” Lindgren said. “I found the strike zone early, and that helped a lot. It’s also nice when the team scores runs for me, too. That made me a lot more comfortable.”
Said Enderlin coach Kevin Bratland: “First off, you’ve gotta give credit to Daniel. He set the tone, throwing strikes and retiring batters. We’ve been playing consistent defensively, and I think that gives our pitchers the added confidence to throw strikes.”
The Railcats had the run support to match its impeccable defense.
After a hitless first, Enderlin tallied seven runs on five hits over its next two innings.
Lindgren helped his own cause at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two singles and two runs scored. Catcher Grant Lindemann and infielder Dalton Anderson also registered two hits along with respective pairs of RBIs.
Bratland praised his team’s efficiency after the game.
Consistency has been a powerful ally for Enderlin this summer, something Bratland attributes to his team’s devotion to basic fundamentals.
“As long as our pitchers come out, keep us in ballgames by throwing strikes and we play solid defense, we’ll be all right,” Bratland said.
Joe Mellenbruch covers Legion baseball and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @Mellenbruch_MDN.