New diamond, sparkling pitching propels strong Anoka start

  • Article by: DAVID LA VAQUE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 13, 2014 - 6:25 PM

A new baseball coach, a sparkling new diamond plus some old-fashioned horses on the mound have Anoka flying high this spring.

The Tornadoes entered this week 10-3 and tops among teams in Class 3A, Section 7. First-year coach Shannon Blansette didn’t expect such a surge but he knows it starts with solid pitching.

Junior Alex Glick (4-0) pitched three consecutive complete games. Two of those were 1-0 victories in eight innings. Junior Trevor Smith, the designated closer, handled an emergency start last Friday with aplomb, going the distance in a victory against Maple Grove.

“We’ve got talented arms,” Blansette said. “Our pitching has kept us in games while the offense finds its identity.”

Blansette, the former Park Center coach, wasn’t sure what to expect from his new players. Graduation claimed 14 seniors, and only three varsity starters returned. Undaunted, the Tornadoes jumped out to a 8-1 start.

Bad weather forced teams to play a compressed schedule. A long stretch caught up with Anoka in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Robbinsdale Armstrong.

But the Tornadoes rallied for a 9-1 victory against Coon Rapids the next day.

“The guys didn’t fold, and that was good to see,” Blansette said.

Equally encouraging, the hitters are starting to come around. Nine runs against Coon Rapids was followed by a 6-2 victory over Maple Grove. Senior Jason Brumbaugh, “one of the state’s best power hitters,” Blansette said, provides some punch.

Strong crowds for home games at the new Castle Field had added to Blansette’s pleasure this season. And players are starting to dream a little bigger.

“They believe we can make a run in the section tournament, which would be great because we’re the Section 7 host,” Blansette said. “We might as well be playing.”

Busy week at the plate

The Coon Rapids softball team struggled to win games last week, but not for a lack of effort from senior first baseman Megan Mensen. She swung a hot bat, going 13-for-29 (.448 batting average) with a double and a triple, two walks, five RBI and seven runs scored. The Cardinals (3-10) went 2-6 last week, including three one-run losses.

 

David La Vaque • 612-673-7574

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

LA Angels - J. Weaver 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Seattle - H. Iwakuma 6:05 PM
Cleveland - T. Bauer
Chicago WSox - J. Quintana 6:08 PM
Detroit - A. Sanchez
Washington - S. Strasburg 6:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 6:10 PM
NY Mets - D. Gee
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb
Toronto - M. Stroman 6:10 PM
Boston - R. De La Rosa
Arizona - T. Cahill 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Leake
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Martinez
Minnesota - K. Gibson 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Oakland - J. Samardzija 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Atlanta - A. Harang 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - J. Beckett
St. Louis - L. Lynn 9:10 PM
San Diego - T. Ross
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Connecticut 80 FINAL
Atlanta 89
Washington 6:00 PM
New York
Chicago 7:00 PM
San Antonio
Seattle 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Phoenix

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the Twins replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close