Crookston scored a season-high runs to get in the win column.
Drew Dragseth pitched five shutout innings, collected three RBIs and the Crookston Pirates downed the Bagley Flyers 9-0 for Crookston’s (1-5) first win of the season.
Dragseth earned the win on the mound after pitching five innings of one-hit ball, allowing no runs and striking out eight Flyers batters.
“Drew threw like Drew does,” Head Coach Mitch Bakken said. “He changes speeds and works down. I’ve never stepped in against him so I don’t know what he throws, but he does a good job of moving the ball around and changing speeds.”
Dragseth helped his own cause by knocking in two runs on a double in the bottom of the first inning and later scored on a wild pitch. Senior Cade Salentine gave Crookston their fourth run with an RBI single.
The senior pitcher knew he needed to give himself some run support, but admitted to no change in approach when at the plate and pitching in the same game.
“I went up there with two guys on base thinking I got to put something in play,” Dragseth said. “I got a hold of one to the right side and the boys came around to score. I don’t really change it up whether I’m pitching or playing left field.”
The Pirates took advantage of Bagley’s miscues in the second inning to score three more runs. Sophomore Joey Doda came home on a wild pitch and sophomore Leyton Salentine scored on a balk. The balk gave Dragseth his third RBI of the game.
Sophomore Brady Butt capped off the inning with an RBI single to score senior Alex LaFrance and put Crookston ahead 7-0.
“The whole game changes when you have the lead,” Bakken said. “Everyone’s more relaxed and it carries over into hitting. That was probably one of our better hitting performances.”
By the end of the third inning, Dragseth had already sent down six hitters via the strikeout.
The Pirates kept their foot on the gas scoring again in the fourth inning on an RBI hit by Tim Parr. The Pirates added one extra run on an error in the seventh.
Butt came on in relief to pitch the final two innings and did not allow a run or a hit to preserve the win.
Dragseth admitted winning the first game of the season alleviates pressure some players were feeling.
“I think the boys will be a little more relaxed,” Dragseth said. “We have a couple games next week and the Karn Tournament next week so I think it’ll make everyone more relaxed. We won’t be worried about another 0-5 or 0-6.”
Bakken, on the other hand, liked the taste of victory and believes the pressure should be higher in his team’s quest for other wins.
“Now the pressure has intensified because I want more,” Bakken said. “These guys should want more.”
Up next for the Pirates is another home game against Roseau on Tuesday, May 1. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.