Wednesday’s one-run loss to Northwest Suburban Conference foe Totino-Grace was Centennial's fifth consecutive loss in less than a week.
Following the game, the Cougars decided it was time to talk.
“Some guys’ mindsets weren’t in the right place,” Cougars coach Rollie Goertzen said. “We know we were better than we had shown. We had just gotten into a slump.”
After losing five consecutive games, Centennial got back on track in a big way on Thursday as it went on the road and knocked around Northwest Suburban Conference foe Anoka 10-1. The victory keeps the Cougars even in the win column with Robbinsdale Armstrong, Blaine and Totino-Grace in the league standings.
Centennial (6-7, 5-5) opened the game with a two-run first inning that was sparked by a single from junior second baseman Dalton McNamara. He finished the game 4-for-4 at the plate and had three runs scored and an RBI.
The Cougars' offensive outburst continued in the third inning when Alexander Phillips hit a solo home run to increase the lead to 3-0. It was one of two hits for the junior left fielder, who also had two RBI and two runs scored in the game.
Centennial capitalized on several Anoka errors to reach base and score more runs in the fifth and sixth innings, helping give the Cougars an 8-1 lead heading into the top of the final inning. They added two runs in the seventh to make the final margin nine.
The Tornadoes (8-3, 4-3) committed four errors in the game, including three on pickoff attempts to first base.
Miscues were only part of the problem. Offensively, Anoka struggled to crack Cougars senior pitcher Casey Lieser. Despite putting together eight hits in the game, the Tornadoes scored just one run -- when Jackson Hauge made it home in the bottom of the sixth inning. The junior third baseman was also the bright spot for Anoka at the plate, where he finished the game 3-for-3.
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