By PATRICK SLACK
St. John’s Prep racked up 10 hits.
But Upsala-Swanville Area (USA) junior Eric Lampert stranded all of them, tossing a shutout as the Patriots won their season opener 5-0 at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud, Monday.
USA settled in quickly, picking up two runs in the top of the first to seize an early edge it wouldn’t relinquish.
The Patriots did the bulk of their damage offensively without swinging the bat, drawing nine walks and stealing seven bases.
Senior Brock Cichon doubled and reached base three times, senior Eric Frieler knocked in a pair and junior Christian Pekarek swiped three bases.
“For the first game I thought we did a great job battling at the plate,” USA head coach Adam Gerads said. “It was obvious our timing wasn’t there, but everyone fought off a lot of two-strike pitches and made their pitcher work.”
Lampert was able to keep the Johnnies off the board with a strong defensive effort behind him and by not giving out any free passes.
“Once he settled down he threw great,” Gerads said. “We turned two big double plays behind Eric in big situations.”
USA hosts a doubleheader against Eagle Valley, Thursday.
USA 5 6 1
St. John’s Prep 0 10 1
USA—Brock Cichon: 1-3, 2B, R, 2-BB; Christian Pekarek: 1-3, R, BB, 3-SB; Eric Frieler: 1-3, 2-RBI, 2-SB; Colten Kruzel: 1-3, RBI; Nick Frieler: 1-4, R, BB; Andy Nelson: R, 2-BB; Tren Dinius: RBI, BB, SAC; Alec Griffith: RBI; WP-Eric Lampert: 7-IP, 10-H, 0-R, 0-BB, 4-K.