Early Errors Bite Tigers
The Springfield Tigers hosted their annual Youth Day on Sunday afternoon. The hot temps didn't keep away a large crowd excited to participate and enjoy the contest between the Tigers and the Searles Grizzlies. Kids were tapped to announce, throw out the first pitch, be a bat boy and girl, and take part in several activities between innings. Many prizes were also given away. In addition, the youth enjoyed a free hot dog, generously donated by Tauer's SuperValu. Unfortunately, the Tigers committed five errors in the first three innings, which put them behind, en route to a 7-4 loss.
Alex Frank made the start for the home team on the mound. A one-out single, along with an error and a Zach Fischer triple put Searles ahead 2-0 after one half-inning of play. Frank battled through the second, stranding a runner who reached on a lead-off error.
Marc Salazar started the bottom of the second with a solid single. Dave Kreft followed by being hit by a pitch. Adam Schmid moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Christian Loomis was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ken Sather hit a ground ball and reached on a fielder's choice as the Grizzlies attempted to force Loomis at second, but the throw went into left-center field, allowing Salazar and Kreft to both score, tying the game at two. Zach Bisel drew a walk and Matt Baier hit a sacrifice fly to plate Loomis and put Springfield up 3-2.
The lead would be short-lived, as the Tiger defense would commit three errors, before recording an out in the top of the third. The miscues, coupled with base hits by Steve Kloeckl and Travis Thorson, gave the Grizzlies a 5-3 lead.
Springfield's bats went right back to work to start the home half of the third. Jordan Milbrath and Salazar started with back-to-back hits. The rally came to a quick end when the Grizzlies turned a 6-4-3 triple play, starting with a tag of Milbrath by the shortstop.
Frank was hit hard in the fourth as four of five Grizzlies reached on singles, plating two runs and spelling an early end to Frank's afternoon. Matt Tews took over on the mound and ended the threat by getting two straight ground balls.
In the bottom of the fifth, Baier started by getting hit by a pitch. He moved around to third via a stolen base and Searles miscue. Baier scored on Salazar's third hit of the day, making the score 7-4. Kreft and Schmid followed with hits, but Salazar was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Tews was fantastic on the hill. He faced just one batter over the minimum, as he kept the Grizzlies stuck at seven, allowing just two hits during his five and two-thirds innings of relief work.
The Tigers had many opportunities, but couldn't get the big hit to plate any additional runs. They had at least one base runner in every inning, including leaving the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh innings. Kyle Fischer came on in the bottom of the ninth, relieving starter Drew Wenninger. Kreft worked a lead-off walk, but Fischer got a strikeout and induced a double-play to wrap up the save.
Marc Salazar led the Springfield offense with three hits. Adam Schmid added two singles, while Matt Baier, Jordan Milbrath, Dave Kreft, Christian Loomis, and Ken Sather all collected one hit each. Steve Kloeckl led the Grizzlies with three hits. Zach Fischer had two hits and four RBIs. Travis Thorson and Kyle Fischer also added two hits each. Drew Wenninger earned the win for Searles, going eight innings, allowing two earned runs on ten hits with two strikeouts. Alex Frank took the loss for the Tigers, his first of the year, working just three and one-third innings, giving up seven runs, only three of which were earned, on eight hits. Kyle Fischer earned a save, facing three batters in the bottom of the ninth.
With the loss, Springfield is now 8-7 in the Tomahawk East League and 9-11 overall. A huge thank you goes to Tara Brandl for her work with Youth Day, along with all those who made it a success. The Tigers continue their homestand on Wednesday night when the New Ulm Brewers visit Riverside Park. Go Tigers!
|Baier, SS||2||1||1||1||1||0||SAC, HP|
|Frank (L, 4-1)||3 1/3||8||7||3||1||3|