The 2019 Mora Blue Devils amateur baseball season is well underway. The defending region 1C champions have a record of 5-3 on the young season in Eastern Minnesota League play. Mora sits second to Hibbing in the North division.
Weather was an issue early on as two exhibition games (preseason games) were rained out. Without the two preseason games the season opener was a league game at North Branch on May 25. The Devils fell 4-3 despite some good pitching from Asa Patterson and Derek Graves. Mora left 11 runners on base during the game. Following the season opening loss Mora rattled off four straight wins. The Blue Devils defeated Ramsey 18-3, East Bethel 15-8, Hinckley 12-3 and Chisago Lakes 10-1.
The Ramsey game featured a victory by Derek Graves on the mound. Hunter Foss led the way offensively with three hits, while Darin Erickson, Derek Graves and Logan Graves each had two hits.
At East Bethel, Asa Patterson picked up the win. Brian Kiel had three hits, followed by Erik Raivo, Jaden Ponto and Derek Graves with two hits each.
Against rival Hinckley, Derek Graves picked up his second win of the season. Darin Erickson, Adam Burgess, Derek Graves, and Ryan VanSomeren each had 2 hits in the win.
In the Chisago Lakes victory, newcomer Brian Kiel went six strong for the win. Bryce Norby finished with three shutout innings in relief. Norby also had three hits for the game with a double. Logan Graves, Hunter Foss, Michael Humphrey and Brian Kiel each had two hits.
The Blue Devils then dropped two in row against very good teams. In a rematch of last season’s region championship game Mora fell to Princeton 9-4. That loss was followed by a 9-2 loss at Isanti.
Both losses featured poor defense by Mora as multiple errors in each game led to many runs for the opponents. Against Princeton, Asa Patterson threw well in defeat. Aaron Nelson had two hits including a double. At Isanti, Logan Graves went six strong innings as all the runs he allowed were unearned. Michael Humphrey had two hits to lead the way at the plate.
On Sunday, June 16, Mora got back on the winning track hosting Quamba. It was a well pitched game from both sides as Mora prevailed 4-2. It was also a milestone victory as it was the 300th victory in the history of the Mora Blue Devils.
Derek Graves went all nine innings for the win. Graves retired the first 21 batters he faced before allowing a hit. Offensively Mora did most of its damage in the sixth inning scoring three runs. Ryan VanSomeren and Bryce Norby each had two hits for the Devils.
At the June 21-22 Hinckley tournament, Mora had two hard losses, losing 0-10 against Elgo and 3-16 against the Minneapolis Mudcats.
Up next the Mora Blue Devils play against the Quamba Cubs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 28 at the Quamba field; and vs. Braham at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 in Braham.