Longhorns Produce a Long Night for the Tigers
Springfield traveled to Stark for a rare early-season night game. The Tigers have been on the wrong end of a number of games at Stark in recent years, with a record of 4-8 in Stark since 2003. That trend continued on Sunday night with them coming up on the short end of a 13-4 thumping.
The game began with the starting pitchers, Caleb Hillesheim for Stark and Matt Tews for Springfield exchanging zeros for the first two innings. The Tigers broke through in the top of the third as Alex Fink started things with a double. Fink moved to third on a wild pitch before Ryan Sturm put Springfield on the board with a base hit.
The Longhorns started scoring in the bottom of the third when Joey Wahl put them ahead 2-1 with a two-run homer. A Tiger error extended the bottom of the fourth, allowing Stark to plate two unearned runs and push their lead to three, 4-1.
The visitors took advantage of a tough twilight sky in the fifth when Marc Salazar and Tews got two-straight, two-out hits on fly balls to left field that the fielders didn't see. Tews' hit scored Fink who had drawn and lead-off walk, getting Springfield within two.
Stark continued their scoring in the home half of the fifth, knocking Tews out of the game after 4 1/3 innings. Springfield turned to Dave Kreft in relief. Kreft had no luck, as the Longhorns found the green with balls being just fair, or just out of reach on several occasions.
The Longhorns were held to just one run in the bottom of the sixth. The Tigers cut into the Stark lead in the top of the seventh when Matt Baier led-off with a home run. Sturm followed with a double off the fence in deep center field. The Tigers worked the bases load on two walks before Christian Loomis pushed across Springfield's fourth and final run on a fielder's choice.
Stark added two runs in the seventh and eighth innings to push their total to thirteen and make the final 13-4. Even as seventeen runs were scored, both teams averaged more than one runner per inning left on base, for a total of 27 runners left on base.
Matt Baier and Ryan Sturm accounted for half the Springfield offense with two hits each. Alex Fink, Marc Salazar, Matt Tews, and Zach Bisel added on hit each. Stark was led by Adam Sellner, Cody Walter, and Chris Fahey with three hits each. Caleb Hillesheim picked up the win for Stark, going six innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with eleven strikeouts. Tews was tagged with the loss, going 4 and 1/3 innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits. Bob Schmid earned a save for Stark, working the final three innings without allowing a hit, but issuing five walks.
Springfield's first loss of the season drops their overall record to 2-1 and 1-1 in the Tomahawk East. The Tigers will be back in action on Tuesday night at Riverside Park with an exhibition game against Heron Lake. Come cheer on the Tigers!
|A. Fink, SS||3||2||1||0||2||2||2B|
|R. Sturm, LF||5||1||2||1||0||1||2B|
|Tews (L, 0-1)||4 1/3||9||7||5||3||3|