Springfield Wins Wild One Over Sleepy Eye
There was a slight change of plans when the Tigers got to the ballpark on Friday night, instead of finishing the suspended game against Sleepy Eye first, that would wait until after the regularly scheduled contest, due to a number of Sleepy Eye players who were at a Legion playoff game. Springfield jumped out to a 10-1 lead, but things got hairy in the sixth and seventh as the Indians battled back to within one. A final offensive burst gave the Tigers some insurance and a 14-9 victory.
Matt Baier kicked the Springfield offense into gear by ripping a lead-off double in the bottom of the first. Zach Bisel drew a base on balls and Alex Fink followed with a single to load the bases. Brady Schwab continued his hot hitting by dropping in a two-run base hit to put the Tigers on top, 2-0.
A night after earning the save at New Ulm, Jordan Milbrath made the start on the mound. He struck out five straight in the second and third innings, before Sleepy Eye got a double from Joey Walter followed by a base hit by Willy Mangen to push across their first run. The Tiger defense ended the rally when they threw out Mangen after he rounded first a little too far.
In the bottom of the third, Springfield took advantage of a walk, two Sleepy Eye errors, and an RBI single by Baier to push across three runs and make the score 5-1.
Schwab started a one-out rally in the fourth with a double. Milbrath, Marc Salazar and Adam Schmid all followed with consecutive base hits, increasing the Springfield lead to six at 7-1. More hits and more runs were the theme in the fifth, this time it was a two-run single from Alex Fink that was key. An Indian miscue helped Springfield plate three in the frame and made the score 10-1.
Just as thoughts of the ten-run rule popped into the Tigers' heads, Sleepy Eye started battling back in the top of the sixth. After Milbrath issued a lead-off walk, Jake Bohnen crushed a triple to the rightfield corner. Milbrath retired the next two batters, but ran out of steam, as he gave up two hits and three additional walks before Manager Helget turned the reins over to Alex Frank. Frank struggled with control, walking the first two batters he faced, before hitting the third. Finally, he retired the Indians' thirteenth batter of the inning to stop the bleeding with the score 10-8.
Springfield loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but were unable to get back any of the seven runs Sleepy Eye had just picked up. Frank found his control in the seventh, but the Indians put together two straight, two-out singles to climb within one, 10-9.
The momentum seemed to be all in the first base dugout. Indian hurler, Andrew Woitas, responded to his team erasing the huge deficit by retiring the Tigers in order in the bottom of the seventh, his only three-up, three-down inning of the night.
Willy Mangen started the top of the eighth by ripping a double. A groundout moved him over to third. Then Bohnen launched what appeared to be a sacrifice fly to rightfield, but Milbrath made the catch and unleashed a dart to cut down Mangen attempting to score and ending the threat.
Milbrath's throw energizied the Tigers who rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth, keyed by a pair of two-run doubles from Bisel and Schwab. Alan Woitas came on to get the final out of the inning.
Even with the insurance runs, it would be anything but easy for Frank in the ninth. A pair of walks, along with a base hit loaded the sacks with one out and put the tying run in the on-deck circle for Sleepy Eye. Frank and Alan Woitas locked up in a battle of foul balls, before Frank finally got Woitas to fan on strike three. Finally, a fly out ended the Sleepy Eye opportunity and the ballgame with Springfield coming out on top, 14-9.
Matt Baier led Springfield's eighteen hit attack with four knocks. Zach Bisel and Brady Schwab added three hits. While Alex Fink and Marc Salazar added two hits each. Jordan Milbrath, Adam Schmid, Alex Frank, and Christian Loomis rounded out the offense with one hit a piece. Joey Walter and Alan Woitas led the visitors with three hits each. Milbrath picked up the win, working five and two-thirds innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits, with eight strikeouts and four walks. Andrew Woitas took the loss, going seven and two-thirds and allowing eleven earned runs on eighteen hits, with four strikeouts and six walks. Frank earned an interesting save, throwing three and one-third innings. He was charged with one run on four hits, with two strikeouts and four free passes.
The big win moves the Tigers to 11-9 in league play and 12-13 overall on the year. After a short break, Springfield would continue their game against the Indians that was suspended on June 15th.
|A. Fink, SS||5||2||2||2||1||1|
|B. Fink, DH||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|Milbrath (W, 2-3)||5 2/3||8||8||8||4||8|
|Frank (SV, 2)||3 1/3||4||1||1||4||2|