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Menahga's Pietila earns MCAC baseball honors

Menahga's Alan Pietila capped off his sophomore season as a member of the Central Lakes College baseball team by earning Minnesota College Athletic Conference honors.

Pietila played in 40 games as a shortstop and outfielder and made seven pitching appearances for the Raiders. At the plate, Pietila led the conference by batting .468 (65 for 139, including 10 doubles, three triples and one home run) and stealing 30 bases. Pietila also scored 47 runs while driving in 27. On the mound, Pietila started three games and went 2-1 with two complete games and a 4.98 ERA. Pietila pitched 21.2 innings and gave up 12 earned runs on 25 hits and 13 walks while striking out 19.

Those numbers earned Pietila a spot on the MCAC Central All-Division team, as voted on by the conference coaches. Pietila also was named to the MCAC Elite Team, which consists of the top performing student-athletes who excel both in the classroom and in athletics in the conference.

Central Lakes College finished with a 24-23 overall record, including an 8-8 record in MCAC Central Division play to place third behind St. Cloud Technical College (16-0) and Minnesota State Fergus Falls (11-5). Northland (3-13) and Ridgewater (2-14) rounded out the division standings.

The Raiders concluded the season by competing in the National Junior College Athletic Association's Region XIII tournament at St. Cloud on May 15-16. CLC lost to Riverland (the No. 1 seed in the Southern Division with a 15-1 record) 8-7 in 13 innings before staying alive with a 5-2 win over Riverland (the No. 2 seed in the Northern Division with an 11-5 record). CLC saw its season end with a 4-3 loss to Rochester (the No. 2 seed in the Southern Division with a 9-7 record).

In those three region tournament games, Pietila batted .533 (8 for 15) with two doubles and a triple. Pietila scored two runs and had three RBI. Pietila went 4 for 5 with a pair of extra-base hits against Itasca and went 2 for 3 with three RBI against Rochester.

During the regular season, Pietila went 2 for 3 with three RBI against Anoka-Ramsey, 4 for 5 with three runs against Riverland, 4 for 4 with four RBI against Northland, 3 for 4 with two RBI against Fergus Falls, 4 for 4 with four runs against Hibbing, and 2 for 5 with two runs and three RBI against Hibbing. Pietila was held hitless in only five games while recording at least two hits in 24 games. Pietila pitched complete games in a 10-3 win over Ridgewater and a 9-3 win over Itasca.