After a 1-19 season in 2011, new Park Center baseball coach Shannon Blansette has been searching for something to give the program a spark.
He may have found it in senior pitcher and outfielder Jordan Stroh, one of only three seniors on the Park Center roster.
Last week, Stroh pitched a four-hit complete game in a 2-0 victory over Anoka and went 7-for-11 at the plate as the Pirates won once and fell just short in a pair of one-run losses to Eden Prairie and Elk River.
"It's coming," said Blansette, who was an assistant at St. Anthony for three years before taking the Park Center position. "We're going to be a lot more competitive.''
The Pirates have only 11 players on the varsity roster, Blansette said, by design.
"We want to give our younger guys a chance to play," he said. "We don't want to bring up the 12th, 13th, 14th guys just to have them sit on the bench."
• Irondale sophomore shortstop Veronica Wold helped the Knights win two of three softball games last week by going 7-for-9 with six RBI and playing perfect defense in the field.
• Park Center, the two-time Class 2A champ that has moved up to Class 3A, opened the season by winning its first three games. Senior pitcher Nicola Tade pitched two shutouts and struck out 32 batters. She also went 8-for-13 with six RBI at the plate.
Quick look at lacrosse
• In two victories last week, Andover senior attackman Jake Harmon had eight goals, five assists, controlled 14 ground balls and forced eight turnovers, placing him in the top five in the state in each category.
• Centennial's girls won twice behind midfielder Katie Armstrong, who had 10 goals and three assists. In a 13-12 victory over Mounds View, her sixth goal won it with six seconds left.