SHS baseball team wins second straight LSC title
Behind the pitching of Derek Fender, Conner Fonger and Brandon Wing the Superior High School baseball team clinched its second straight Lake Superior Conference championship with a doubleheader sweep of Ashland Tuesday at Northland College in Ashland.
The LSC title was the seventh under Superior head coach Don Dembroski. The Spartans also won five straight titles from 2000 to 2004.
Fender and Fonger combined on a four-hitter with two strikeouts and five walks as the Spartans won the opener 5-1.
Wing celebrated his 18th birthday by tossing a one-hitter with four strikeouts and one walk in a complete-game 3-0 victory in game two.
The only run Superior allowed came in the first inning of the opener.
Superior matched that run in the second inning when Fender singled, moved to third on Judd Erickson’s single and the two pulled off a double steal.
The Spartans added three runs in the fourth inning. Two runs scored on a single by Wing, who then scored on a hit by Mason Moen.
Superior’s final run came in the fifth when Isaac Rios singled, moved to third on another hit by Fender and scored on another double steal.
Fender finished with three of Superior’s 10 hits. Moen also had three hits; Wing had a hit and two RBIs; Erickson had an RBI single; and Ben Rhodes and Rios singled.
Earl Kraft took the loss and had an RBI single for Ashland.
In the nightcap, Wing held Ashland hitless until Bo Bratley’s one-out single in the sixth inning.
Bratley moved to second on a passed ball before Wing retired the next two batters to keep Ashland scoreless.
Wing walked two batters in the seventh inning, but got out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts.
Superior scored runs in the second, third and fifth inning.
Rios singled and scored on Michael LaJoie’s double in the second inning; Spencer Udeen walked and scored on Rhodes’ single in the third; and Udeen walked again in the fifth and scored on Rios’ single.
Superior had seven hits, two each by Rhodes, Rios and LaJoie and one by Dom D’Auria.
Pat Barninham took the loss for Ashland, allowing six hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
Superior, 12-5 overall and 6-0 in the LSC, won last year’s LSC title with a 6-1 mark. The Spartans have one conference game remaining, at home Tuesday vs. Hermantown.
This weekend the Spartans will play three games in the Hibbing Wood Bat Tournament.
Superior plays Hibbing at 7 p.m. Friday and Cloquet and Proctor back-to-back beginning at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
SPARTAN SPIN: The Spartan JV also swept Ashland winning 13-3 and 14-2. Jonathan Rhodes and Austin Hunker pitched for the Spartans, who got two hits apiece from Kaden Kimmes and Rhodes and one each from Jason Samarziya, Sean McCoshen and Ethan Raye. Samarziya started and Max Reed pitched in relief in the second game. The Spartans had 17 hits. Joe Barker had four hits, including three doubles, and Carter Fonger had a double and two singles. Riley Rehnstrand and Tucker Johnson added two hits apiece, Samarziya doubled and Reed, Raye, Blake Arnovich, Austin LeJeune and Wyatt Johnson singled.
Superior 010 310 0 — 5 10 1
Ashland 100 000 0 — 1 4 1
Superior 011 010 0 — 3 7 3
Ashland 000 000 0 — 0 1 1
Hibbing Wood Bat Tournament
Friday, May 18
Cloquet vs. Proctor, 4:30 p.m.
Superior vs. Hibbing, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 19
Cloquet vs. Hibbing, 10 a.m.
Cloquet vs. Superior, 12:30 p.m.
Superior vs. Proctor, 3 p.m.
Proctor vs. Hibbing, 5:30 p.m.