Tigers Win Opener in Essig
Springfield traveled to Essig for what has become a traditional early season contest. Every year since 2005, the Tigers have played their first or second league game in Essig. A rain shower passed before first pitch. The skies then cleared, leaving just a stiff wind blowing in from left field on an otherwise nice Mother's Day afternoon. Solid pitching was on display for both teams, but a number of Essig miscues would be the difference as Springfield came out on top, 5-4
Alex Fink started the game by dropping a double into left field. A Bluejay error put Tiger runners at first and second. Back-to-back fielder's choices slowed the Springfield rally before Matt Tews got the Tigers on the board with an RBI base hit. The vistors added a second run in the second taking advantage of a two-out walk by Danny Christensen followed by Fink's second double of the game to make the score 2-0.
Jake Miesen made his first start of the season on the mound. A lead-off walk, followed by two Essig hits, plated two runs, tying the game in the bottom of the second. Essig hurler Sam Hansen and Miesen exchanged zeros in the third and fourth innings.
Brady Schwab ignited a two-out rally in the top of the fifth with a single. Marc Salazar reached on another Essig error. Tews was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ryan Sturm came through with a double to put the Tigers up 4-2.
After getting the first two outs of the bottom of the fifth, Miesen issued a base on balls. Mitch Stueber ripped a double to get the Bluejays within one, 4-3. A Springfield error allowed Stueber to score and spelled the end of Miesen's day. Alex Frank came on to get a strikeout, ending the inning.
Hansen retired the Tigers in order in the sixth before giving way to Dave Krzmarzick in the top of the seventh. Christian Loomis reached on an error for the third time of the day to start things. Springfield got back-to-back bunt singles from Schwab and Salazar when Essig found themselves out of position on bunt coverage. With the bases loaded, Tews grounded into a double-play, scoring Loomis and giving the Tigers the lead, 5-4.
Frank didn't allow a hit for the remainder of the ballgame, allowing just two base runners on a walk and hit batter. Kyle Helget finished things up on the mound, working the top of the ninth for the Bluejays.
Offensively, Springfield was paced by Alex Fink, Brady Schwab, and Marc Salazar with two hits each. Matt Tews and Ryan Sturm added one hit apiece to the Tiger total. Alex Frank earned his second win of the season, already surpassing his 2010 total, throwing a hitless four and one-third innings. Dave Krzmarzick was tagged with the hard-luck loss, allowing just one unearned run in two innings of work.
The win against American Division rival Essig, starts the Tigers off on the right foot in Tomahawk East League play and moves their overall record to 2-0 on the young season. Next Sunday, Springfield will travel to Stark for a 7:30pm battle with the Longhorns. Come cheer on the Tigers!
|A. Fink, SS||5||0||2||1||0||0||2B(2)|
|R. Sturm, RF||4||0||1||2||0||0||2B|
|Frank (W, 2-0)||4 1/3||0||0||0||1||7|