It wasn't pretty at times, but the Faribault Bethlehem Academy Cardinals opened their season with a 14-4 five-inning win over the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers on Monday night at Bell Field.

Zach Van Thomme picked up the win on the hill and also contributed at the plate in a game where the Cardinals scored in all but one inning.

Bethlehem Academy opened the scoring in the first inning with two runs on a two-RBI single that was perfectly placed between center and right field by Kyle Kohl. Kohl got thrown out at second base.

Van Thomme recorded three outs in the first and all three outs in the second inning by strikeout and went 3 2/3 innings with nine walks and nine strikeouts. He threw 93 pitches, 43 for strikes.

Senior Hunter Dienst finished the game and struck out three of the five batters he faced. He finished with 23 total pitches, 14 were strikes.

In my scorebook, I had the two combining for a no-hitter, but the official book gave a single to Panther Jack Schultz in the first inning on a ball hit to Cardinal third baseman Luke Donkers that popped out of his glove after leaping high to knock it down with two outs.

Panther catcher Sam Prigge was going to third base on the play and Donkers chose to throw the ball to first and threw it in the dirt, putting Schultz at first and Prigge at third.

Schultz took the loss on the bump for the Panthers, going the first three innings and throwing 82 pitches, 40 for strikes. He struck out four and walked six.

Jake Tasker and Jake Stork finished the game on the mound for NRHEG.

The rain fell gradually harder, making conditions murky over the last couple of innings.

The Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game were Van Thomme and Kohl courtesy of Jason Krohn and Tony Langeurd, Faribault State Farm agents.

Line totals were:

Faribault: 14 runs, 8 hits, 0 errors

NRHEG: 4 runs, 1 hit, 5 errors

Bell Field before it got muddy- photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Bell Field before it got muddy- photo by Gordy Kosfeld



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