Free Passes and Errors Curse Tigers Under the Lights in Searles
Springfield traveled to Searles on Wednesday night, honored to be a part of the first ever game played under the lights at the home of the Grizzlies. Combined with the newly sodded infield the ballpark was in great shape for the contest. The teams exchanged runs early, before Searles put up a five spot in the fifth to take a lead they would never surrender, winning their inaugural night home game, 7-5.
Jake Miesen was scheduled to make the start for the Tigers, but had the leave the game with an injury after warming up in the bottom of the first. Manager Helget turned to Dave Kreft on the hill. Kreft issued a total of five bases on balls in the first two innings, but was able to sneak out of the bases loaded jams in the first two frames only allowing two runs.
Matt Baier started the top of the second with a single. After stealing second, he came around to score when Kreft reached on a Grizzly error. The Tigers trailed 2-1 in the top of the third when Kreft helped himself out with a bases loaded smash to left, driving across Jim Eckstein to tie the game at two.
Kreft and Searles starter Kyle Fischer exchanged three-up, three-down innings in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth. These were the only such innings in the entire ballgame, as the teams combined to strand twenty-nine base runners in the contest.
Searles got two straight singles to begin the home half of the fifth. A walk loaded the bases with one out, before a Tiger error on a potential double-play ball gave the Grizzlies the lead. They would take advantage of another Springfield error and bat eleven in the inning, scoring five runs, making the score 7-2.
Eckstein went to the mound in the bottom of the sixth. He was able to wiggle his way out of a bases loaded jam without allowing a run. Alex Fink got the Tigers within four when he blasted a solo shot over the right-center field fence to begin the top of the seventh. Eckstein began the bottom of the inning, but after a walk and a hit batter, he was relieved by Jason Nachreiner. Nachreiner retired the next three Searles batters to end the threat.
The Tigers got a lead-off double from Jordan Milbrath in the top of the eighth, but were unable to push the run across. Nachreiner worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth and Springfield was down to their last chance in the top of the ninth, trailing by four, 7-3.
Taylor Ulmen took over on the mound for the Grizzlies in the ninth. Fink and Brady Schwab began the inning with hits. Marc Salazar was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no one out. With one out, Kreft was hit by a pitch to score Fink. A wild pitch that ended up over the grandstand scored Schwab, making the score 7-5. However, the Tigers were unable to score any additional runs to extend the game, stranding the tying run at second.
Brady Schwab lead the Springfield bats with three hits. Alex Fink, Matt Baier, and Dave Kreft added two hits each. Jordan Milbrath rounded out the Tiger offense with one hit. Kyle Fischer led Searles with three hits, while Zach Fischer and Casey Lux added two hits each. Fischer also earned the win for the Grizzlies, working eight innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits while fanning eight. Dave Kreft was tagged with the loss, going five innings, surrendering seven runs, only three of which were earned, while striking out five, but walking eight.
The loss drops Springfield to 4-3 in the Tomahawk East and 5-7 overall on the season. Searles has always been a ballpark with a lot of character. The new lights and infield grass really make it a gem among all the great ballparks in the Tomahawk. Congratulations to all who have worked hard to make the ballpark the fantastic place it is to play a game! The Tigers will continue their road stretch with a Friday night trip to St. James to take on the A's. Come cheer them on as they try to end their four game skid!
|A. Fink, SS||4||2||2||1||1||1||2B, HR|
|Kreft (L, 1-1)||5||7||7||3||8||5|