Cody Wardner drives in 4 runs with 2 doubles.
The Crookston Legion baseball team took down undefeated Warroad Wednesday 8-4 at Jim Karn Field thanks to a masterful pitching performance by Aaron Hollcraft and a four-RBI game from Cody Wardner. All that with former Major League Baseball player and current Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad in attendance, who is a Jamestown, N.D. native and good friends with Crookston residents Scott Butt and Tyson Siegle.
Hollcraft pitched all seven innings and struck out 12, allowing two earned runs, four total, on six hits and two walks. He also had an RBI double and scored two runs. Wardner had two doubles and drove in four runs. Josh Edlund was 2-for-2 with two runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases.
"This was a huge win," Crookston head coach Josh Brehmer said. "It feels very good to beat an undefeated team, who a couple days ago beat Roseau. It is great to bounce back, yesterday was tough. To beat Warroad was fantastic to see and it's great motivation and confidence for the guys."
In his last three starts Hollcraft has struck out 46 batters.
"Aaron is relaxing and settling down and he just goes out there and throws," coach Brehmer said. "That is when he's at his best. Just go out there and play the game the way it was supposed to be played. He didn't seem too nervous before or during the game. He was calm and relaxed about it."
Wardner, who will be a sophomore next school year, has been coming up big for Crookston.
"With guys on second and third it is very good to see a young guy like him step up," Brehmer said. "We called him up from Babe Ruth to make sure we had enough guys for Legion. It is nice to see him step up and be a team leader."
Warroad got on the board first with a run in the first but Hollcraft responded with a double to right field that scored Joey Koenig.
Warroad got one in the third inning but Crookston answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning when Edlund drove in Cody Magsam and Koenig with a base hit. Two batters later, Wardner got a two-out double that scored Hollcraft and Edlund.
Crookston extended its 5-2 lead in the fifth when Wardner doubled again and scored Hollcraft and Edlund. Mikey Hajostek then followed up with a triple to score Wardner.
Warroad added one run in each of the sixth and seventh innings but it wasn't enough.
Crookston improves to 5-8 this season and travels to face Stephen Friday in the regular season finale.
"We will build from today and bring it into Friday," Brehmer said.
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