Rotzien Unsteady Early, but “Guts” out Complete Game as Rams Fall to Spartans
By R.P. Sexton
The omen for trouble began in pre-game warm-ups for Anoka-Ramsey Community College starting pitcher Matt Rotzien. A pitch in the dirt here; a high fastball over the catcher’s head there. And things didn’t get any better for the lanky right hander once the game got underway.
In the first of two contests with conference rival, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, on Saturday, The Golden Rams were overmatched 6-1 by the Spartans of MSCTC.
“They’re at the top of the Conference for a reason,” said Rotzien after the game. “They’re not gonna swing and miss a lot. They got a few good hits off me.”
The blame for the defeat certainly didn’t lie solely with Rotzien. Questionable Ram’s defense and a superb outing by Spartan’s starting pitcher Jake Torgerson (who had a perfect game through four innings) proved to be a lethal combination for ARCC. Torgerson didn’t seem to stray much from offering up a steady diet of fastballs and more fastballs, logging seven strikeouts by the last out.
“We faced a real good pitcher today. He was on his game and came with a very, very defined attack plan against us,” said Golden Rams’ coach, Tom Yelle. ”We were trying to lock up and go the other way on him because he was working the outside on us. He readjusted and we just didn’t make another adjustment.”
The game didn’t become a rout until the top of the fifth inning, when MSCTC‘s Tanner Picht followed up a very “long strike” past the right field foul pole with a 325 foot two-run blast, extending the Spartan lead to 6-0. Still, Yelle kept Rotzien in the game.
“He came within a couple pitches of being gone, but being one of our top guys this year, we allowed him to ‘right the ship.’ He’s earned that right.” Nor did Rotzien have any intention of an early exit. “I wanted to finish the game,” said Rotzien. “I didn’t want to just give up.”
In a game where the Golden Rams had a season low of two hits, the one bright moment came when First Baseman Sam Wirtz hit a solo homerun in the fifth.