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July 22nd -- THROWBACK NIGHT - Come on out to Dick Putz Field for a doubleheader as the Grays take on the St. Cloud Snappers beginning at 5:00pm. GC will be wearing their O'Hara's throwback unis to celebrate the teams 10th year of existence, the first 4 of which were sponsored by O'Hara's Brew Pub and Restaurant. After they closed their doors, and with no sponsors to be had, the name change to Granite City Grays took effect.
July 17th -- It ended pretty ugly, but the final score was no indication of how the game actually went. GC did everything they could to give the game away and they succeeded in a 13-3 loss to the Cold Spring Springers.
GC got on the board first when Kevin Wenner lead off the game with a triple, and was brought home with a 1-out triple by Steve Rindelaub. A line out to left field by Adam Johnson ended in a doubleplay when Rindelaub was thrown out at home trying to tag and score from 3rd.
In the 3rd, the Grays gave Cold Spring a run to tie the game by trying to force a runner at 2nd instead of going to 1st for the 3rd out. A quick response by the Grays led to 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd on a RBI double by Burt Schlangen and a bloop RBI single by Steve Rindelaub.
Leading 3-1 in the 5th, the wheels started to come off for the Grays as two errors led to 3 CS runs and a 4-3 deficit. GC would only manage one more threat until the wheels completely came off in the 8th when a 2-out throwing error led to 8 unearned runs en route to a 13-3 Springers lead.
It was a tough loss for the Grays, but when you play consistently with 9 guys, some of whom are out of position with no bench options, it leaves little room for error, especially against a team as good as the Springers.
July 15th -- Well, it's been a while. Same old story has played out for the entire season though, 9 guys at pretty much every game, and usually scrambling to get a 9th guy the day of the game. Of the 3 catchers on the roster, one of them has caught maybe half the games, the other half, well you get the point.
Enough about that, GC is riding a 4 game winning streak with wins against Eden Valley, Clear Lake, Sartell Stone Poneys and Litchfield in which Grays pitchers have given up 4 runs in those 36 innings.
In Eden Valley, the Grays busted the game wide open with an 8-run 7th inning to push their lead to 13-1 and win in convincing fashion. The big blow came on a bases clearing double to the left field fence by Nick Hengel.
Against Clear Lake, the Grays workhorse of the summer, Austan Bosch threw 6 strong innings scattering 5 hits and striking out 7 before giving way to Nick Maiers who threw the final 3 innings striking out 6 to slam the door. GC pushed 2 runs across in the first on an RBI single by Adam Johnson and an RBI single by Dave Carlson. The score remained 2-0 until the top of the 7th inning when Mike Jurgella, making his first and last Grays appearance of the summer hit a sac fly to left field to make it 3-0. GC would push another run across in the 8th to make it 4-0, the final.
Next up was the Sartell Stone Poneys,. Austan Bosch picked up another win on the mound going 8 innings giving up 2 hits and striking out 8. Dave Carlson led the way by going 2-4 with a 2b and HR. Brace Hemmelgarn went 3-3 with a HBP while Steve Rindelaub and Nick Hengel both went 2-4 to help pace the offense.
Today, GC traveled to Litchfield for what seemed like the 10th year in a row. Adam Johnson got the start on the hill and was in control from the start. Johnson went the distance and got the shutout giving up 3 hits, striking out 9 while issuing no walks. Only 6 balls put in play got to the outfield and 3 of those were hits. Offensively, it was a challenge for the Grays as they were held in check by a crafty righty. Waylon Bemboom stole home on a 1st and 3rd double steal to get the Grays on the board in 2nd and that was all they would need. Kevin Wenner added a sac fly in the 5th and Steve Rindelaub had one of his own in 8th to stretch the lead to 3-0. A descent day all around for the Grays but a stiffer challenge awaits as they travel to Cold Spring for a home game against the Springers at 7:30 Tuesday night.
July 1st -- Updates coming....
June 6th -- Look at this, a game is played and a writeup is done. The Grays got back into the win column tonight as the iron 9 traveled to Albertville and beat the Villains 7-2.
Adam Johnson got the start on the hill was very effective for 3 innings giving up one hit in each inning with no damage done. After Johnson exited, Dave Carlson took his turn and threw 3 innings striking out 5 while giving up 3 hits as well. Lastly, Brett Hemmelgarn came on to finish it out and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings of work to blow the shutout bid.
Offensively. GC pushed one run across in the top of the 2nd as Nick Hengel reached on a throwing error by the 2b allowing Adam Johnson who singled to lead off the inning to score from 2nd base. In the 3rd the Grays would load the bases with one out but couldn't push any runs across. The 4th saw Hengel once again reach on a throwing error by the 2b and then reach 3rd on a balk, but even with him at 3rd and no out the Grays couldn't score.
The 6th inning finally saw the Grays push a few runs across and give themselves some breathing room. Nick Hengel singled to left scoring Adam Johnson from 2nd and Kevin Wenner walked with the bases loaded to push across the 3rd. GC would leave the bases loaded in the 6th but would get 4 more in the 7th. With 2 down and a runners on 1st and 2nd, a wild pitch moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd and Brace Hemmelgarn would follow with hard smash to 3rd which took a nice big hop over the 3b's head and into left field for a 2 RBI Single and a 5-0 Grays lead. GC would get 2 more runs on a bases loaded BB and HBP to make it 7-0 and never look back.
Next up is a trip to Avon on Friday night.... if we can field a team.
June 5th -- It's been five games since you last heard from us, and well, there wasn't much to write home about if you're a fan of the Grays. During the 6 game stretch, they lost 4 of and forgot to swing the bats in a couple of them.
Starting things off was a loss to the defending Class B state champ Sauk Rapids Cyclones. They're good, we didn't pitch well, and a the big blow was a grand slam to given up in the 6th inning to help put the game away.
Next up was a 3-0 loss to fellow Class B opponent, the Brainerd Bees. GC had numerous chances to score but the bats were shut down again and couldn't get Grays Rookie Austan Bosch a win in his debut.
Next up was the Stearns County Classic hosted by St. Martin and Lake Henry. First up was 2010 Class C state champion Midway Snurdbirds. What was a pretty good ballgame, GC lost 4-1 and had another rough day at the plate striking out 13 times while once again playing shorthanded with 9 guys (common theme this year). I'd provide highlights, but the stats don't exist. No one kept book, thanks guys.
Game 2 saw us take on host St. Martin on Saturday afternoon. The Grays bats finally woke up and put up 11 runs en route to an 11-0 shutout. Austan Bosch got the shutout giving up 2 hits and striking out 8. All 9 hitters in the Grays lineup reached base safely by a BB or HBP and 8 of the 9 had hits. Adam Johnson drove in 3 runs, while Collin Stinogel chipped in 2 hits and 2 RBI.
Game 3 on Sunday saw the Grays take on the Cold Spring Rockies. One bad inning led the Grays demise as they drop an 8-5 decision in the consolation championship. It took 4 GC pitchers to get through 7 innings but it was Sunday of the Stearns County Classic, what are you going to do? Offensively, Dave Carlson was 3-4, Adam Johnson smashed 2 balls off the wall and was held to singles on both, Austan Bosch chipped in with 2 hits and Brace Hemmelgarn hit a solo home run in the 3rd inning.
Next up, the Grays travel to Albertville to take on the Villains at 6:30 on Wednesday night.
May 16th, 2012 -- Well, not the way they drew it up, but a win is a win.... even if you have a catcher behind the plate for the last 8 innings who has never caught in a real game before. After an injury to Grays catcher Eric Schwinghammer in the 1st inning, player/manager Brett Hemmelgarn was the unlucky guy who strapped on the tools of ignorance, sucked it up and caught 8 innings against a good Big Lake team. While it definitely wasn't pretty, it was just barely good enough to help the Grays win their 2nd game of the young season.
Dave Carlson made his first start of the year and went 5 strong innings to get his first victory. Grays rookie, Wil Spaniol, picking up a baseball for the 2nd time since winning a state championship at Target Field followed with a solid 4 innings of relief to pick up the rare 4 inning save.
It was event to say the least, but luckily not a lot of people paid to see. As the Grays look ahead, they'll have some reinforcements once college teams wrap up their season and shouldn't have to worry about Hemmelgarn having to try his luck behind the plate again.
May 15th, 2012 -- So far the story of the Grays season has been 9. As in 9 guys for each of the first two games played and the one to be played tomorrow. With a large number of Grays playing college ball on successful teams, we've been left shorthanded for the time being.
To open the 2012 campaign, GC scored a 15-1 win over a very talented Nisswa team. GC used a bunch of walks and HBP to score 15 runs against Nisswa in a game which they'd probably like to forget about, but hey its early in the year and most teams are still trying to get into game shape. GC got 7 strong innings from Brett Hemmelgarn and Dave Carlson led the way at the plate with a couple hits and 3 RBI. Middle infielders Josh Janzen and Billy Sommers each drove in 3 as well.
Next up, fellow Class C to Class B movers, Big Lake, will visit the MAC for a 7:30 game on Wednesday night. It should be another interesting game for the Grays as they go with the Iron Nine for the 3rd time in 3 tries.
2012: The Year The Grays Went "B"
May 6th, 2012 -- Only a few more days until the possible Grays season opener on May 9th, but changes are in the air as the State Board made a bunch of very pecuilar decisions and moved some teams up to Class B and left some in Class C (Mankato anyone). With that being said, some player movement has also occurred and the Grays will be losing some key players to collegiate summer leagues. All in all, it should be another fun summer as we look to find a way into the State Tournament which be held in our home ballparks.