Isaac Griffin, with both his arm and the bat, sparked Spring Grove to a soggy, season-opening 13-2 baseball win at Houston on a rainy April 9 afternoon. The Lions scored a run in the second inning, added a pair in the fourth inning and then sealed the win with back-to-back, five-run eruptions to win with the 10-run rule after six innings. Meanwhile on the mound, Griffin handcuffed the Hurricanes with 11 strikeouts (3 walks, 2 hit batters) in five and a third innings before reaching the MSHSL pitching limit. He allowed only one hit – a bloop single to Caiden Olson, the last batter he faced.
“Isaac Griffin was outstanding on the mound,” said Lion coach Chris Strinmoen. “He seemed in complete control, and Houston didn’t have an answer for him. I feel bad that his no-hitter got away at the end on a lazy pop up that we just couldn’t get to.”
Sophomore Caleb Griffin finished that last inning, allowing no hits and no earned runs. The ’Canes scored both unearned runs in that sixth inning, and with two walks, hoped to avoid the 10-run rule before Caleb Griffin struck out the final two batters.
Caleb Griffin (double, 2 RBI) and fellow sophomore Logan Brumm (1 RBI) both batted 2 for 3 while Ty Cleven and Isaac Griffin both went 2 for 4. A second-inning single by Brumm was the first hit of the season and led to the first run when courtesy runner Braedon Solie scored on a passed ball. Eighth grade third baseman Brandon Jahnke (1 for 3) had the other two-bagger while the Lions were blowing the game open in the fifth inning with five runs for an 8-0 lead. Spring Grove crossed home plate five more times in the sixth to make it 13-0.
The Lions banged out 10 hits and benefited from 10 walks from three Houston hurlers. Jonah Udstuen drew two walks and drove in two runs with a pair of sacrifice fly balls. Eleven Lions scored, and seven had a stolen base.
The first double play of 2021 was unassisted at first baseman by Cleven. The Griffin brothers achieved 13 of 18 Houston outs with strikeouts. Only one out was made in the outfield. There was one Lion error in the field.
Spring Grove has now swept all nine of the meetings with Houston since the Lions revived their stand-alone baseball program in 2016.
It was the varsity debut for 10 of the 11 Lions. Both teams are young with Spring Grove using one senior, two juniors, four sophomores, three freshmen and an eighth grader. Playing for Houston were
two seniors, one junior, three sophomores and four freshmen. The evening ended with Lion B-team prevailing, 10-1.
“It was nice to finally get back out on the field for the first time in almost two years,” said Coach Strinmoen. “We got over some first inning jitters and eventually put up some runs later in the game to secure the victory. I thought we found some patience at the plate and then used some aggressive baserunning to put pressure on the Hurricanes’ defense. We know we will have some big tests next week against some strong teams.”
SG 13, at Houston 2 (6 innings)
SG 010 255 x -13-10–1 (runs–hits–errors)
Hou 000 002 x – 2–1–5
Left on base: SG 9, Hou 6
Stolen bases: SG 6, Hou 3
SG hits (10): 2 doubles, 8 singles; Caleb Griffin 2-3, dbl, 2 RBI, sb, run; Logan Brumm 2-3, RBI, 2 runs; Isaac Griffin 2-4, RB, sb, run; Ty Cleven 2-3, 2 runs; Brandon Jahnke 1-3, dbl, 2 RBI, run; Nathan Solberg 1-3, 2 RBI, sb, run; Jonah Udstuen 0-0, 2 SAC, 2 RBI, sb, run; Jaxon Strinmoen sb, run; Braedon Solie sb, run; Matthew Doering run; Cakleb Ranzenberger run, sb.
Hou hits (1): 1 single
PITCHING – SG: Winning pitcher – Isaac Griffin (1-0)
Isaac Griffin…5.1 IP, 1H, 1R, 0 ER, 3W, 11K, 2 HB
Caleb Griffin.0.2 IP, 0 H, 1R, 0 ER, 2W, 2K
PITCHING – Hou: Losing pitcher Connor Porter (0-1)
Connor Porter 4 IP, 4H, 3R, 2 ER, 4W, 2K
Lawrence Traun 1 IP, 3H, 5R, 2 ER, 4W, 1K
Alex Walters 1 IP, 3H, 5R, 4 ER, 2W, 1 HB
>>Records: SG 1-0, 1-0- SEC; Hou 0-1, 0-1 SEC
SG LINEUP: P Isaac Griffin, C Logan Brumm, 1B Ty Cleven, 2b Jonah Udstuen, ss Nathan Solberg, 3b Brandon Jahnke, lf Jaxon Strinmoen, cf Caleb Griffin, rf Caleb Ranzenberger, cr/ph Braedon Solie. pr Matthew Doering