Even in baseball season, basketball is still in the blood of Cass Lake-Bena student-athletes.
Every time Cass Lake-Bena junior pitcher Tyler Trosen threw a good pitch Wednesday night against Blackduck, his Panther teammates behind him responded with "nice shot!"
If Trosen was playing basketball, he probably would have had a 30-point game judging by how many times that line of support was shouted.
But it was on the diamond Trosen excelled Wednesday as he led Cass Lake-Bena to an 8-0 win over the Drakes at BSU Baseball Field.
Trosen, a forward on the Panthers basketball team, pitched the complete game. He struck out 15, walked one and was 2-for-3 at the plate with one run scored.
"Tyler has really grown to be the star pitcher on this team," Cass Lake-Bena first baseman Mike Hanson said.
Hanson is the slugger for the Panthers and he finished the game 1-for-4 with two runs scored. He gave the Panthers the 8-0 lead with a solo home run over the center field fence in the second inning.
Cass Lake-Bena used a seven-run first inning to defeat Blackduck, which entered Wednesday's game on a nine-game winning streak.
It was a tough start for Drakes pitcher Brett Mistic, who walked Brett Finn and Trosen to open up the Panthers first at-bat of the game.
Finn and Trosen came around to score on errors to give Cass Lake-Bena the early 2-0 lead.
Mistic then retired Mike Hanson and Martin Wind on pop flies.
He just could not escape the inning as the next five Panthers scored to reach the top of the order.
Highlighting that stretch was Ryan Connor's booming shot off the top of left field fence that scored one run.
"It was a tough first inning for Brett, but after that he settled down and we all started to play better," Blackduck manager Rick Olhava said.
Outside of Hanson's home run in the second, Mistic and the Drakes defense played well and almost turned a double play in the fourth.
Also in the fourth, Hanson turned in one of the plays of the game when he robbed Mistic of a base hit when he layed out on a hard liner at first base.
"I was holding my arm up to the sun so I could see because it was really bright," Hanson said. "I was able to see the ball come off the bat good and I just dove for it."
But the show belonged to Trosen, who didn't allow a hit until Tony Hoffman broke through with a single in the fourth. Ryan Tjepkes had the Drakes only other hit in the sixth inning.
Blackduck never had a runner get past second base and Hoffman's hit was the only ball that got to the outfield.
"I think the defense really got us going tonight, especially in the first when we didn't allow any runs because we haven't always done that this year," said Trosen, who improved to 3-0 on the season. "A couple of times we've started bad and that's affected our batting. We were really pumped up to get to the plate and we were really excited to play under the lights tonight."
Cass Lake-Bena improved to 8-3-1 overall with the win (6-3-1 Northland Conference) and will travel to Laporte today to face the Wildcats.
Blackduck is 10-2 (8-2 Northland) and will host Nevis today.
The Drakes and Panthers will meet again May 14 in Blackduck.
Blackduck 000 000 0 - 0 2 3
Cass Lake-Bena 710 000 x - 8-8-2
Ryan Tjepkes 1-3. Todd Kallroos 0-2, BB. Brett Mistic 0-3. Tony Hoffman 1-3 SB-2. Michael Dexter 0-3. Kyle Goodwin 0-3. Luke Binkley 0-3. Brandon Beck 0-1. Chantz DeJean 0-3.
Brett Finn 0-2, R. Tyler Trosen 2-3, R. Mike Hanson 1-4, HR, R. Martin Wind 1-3, R. Caleb Fisher 0-1. Nolan Goss 1-3, R, SB. Chad Wittner 0-3, R, SB. Mike Masten 0-2, R, SB. Taylor Humphrey 0-1. Ryan Connor 1-2, R. Ben Cameron 1-1. Brett Frederickson 1-3, R, 3B.
CLB- Trosen (WP) IP-7, H-2 K-15, BB-1, R-0.
BLK- Mistic (LP) IP-7, H-8, K-2, BB-3, R-8.