Leavenworth Hands Springfield Season-Ending Loss
Tuesday night Leavenworth came to Riverside Park for the third and deciding game of their best-of-three playoff series. The Orioles took advantage of sloppy Springfield defense to build an early lead and never looked back, cruising to a resounding 9-2 victory.
Alex Frank took the ball as the game three starter for the home team. Leavenworth came out hitting the ball hard and put together three hits in the first frame. The hits, combined with two Tiger errors, gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead.
Springfield got back-to-back one-out singles from Alex Fink and Brady Schwab in the home half of the first, but Leavenworth right-hander Derek Skovbroten struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
After Frank worked his only scoreless inning in the top of the second, the Oriole defense helped the Tigers with a dropped fly ball to put Matt Tews at second base. Marc Salazar got Springfield on the scoreboard with an RBI base hit. A sacrifice bunt by Christian Loomis moved Salazar up to second. Zach Bisel was hit by a pitch to get the tying run in scoring position, but again Skovbroten worked his way out of the jam, this time by getting two straight ground balls.
With the score 2-1, Leavenworth's offense went right back to work in the top of the third. Two hits, a base on balls, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead. Jordan Milbrath worked a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning. Tews followed with a single, but again Skovbroten snuffed out the rally before it had a chance to ignite.
The Tiger defense again let down Frank in the top of the fourth. After striking out the first two batters of the inning. Frank coaxed a foul pop-up that was dropped to extend Mike Berberich's at-bat. He ripped a base hit. A walk, another single later, and Leavenworth had their fifth run of the night.
Milbrath took over the mound duties in the top of the fifth. He worked around two walks in the fifth and a two-out double in the sixth to put up much needed zeros for the Tigers. Tews smashed a base hit to start the bottom of the sixth. An Oriole miscue put Tigers on second and third before Zach Bisel laid down a squeeze bunt to score Tews and make the score 5-2.
Milbrath ran into trouble in the seventh. A one-out single by Briar Braulick started things for the Orioles. Milbrath labored through the rest of the inning, but allowed a run due to two walks and a wild pitch.
Fink started the bottom of the seventh with a solid single. Leavenworth went to the bullpen to bring on Andy Cook. Cook did not allow a hit during the final three innings, with Springfield's only base runner coming via an error in the bottom of the ninth.
Manager Helget turned the ball over to Fink in the top of the eighth. He struck out the first two batters he faced, before running into control problems, walking three and giving up a two-run double. A ball thrown into left field on a stolen base attempt gave Leavenworth their ninth run of the evening. Tews took over and retired all four batters he faced in the final inning and one-third, leading to a 9-2 final.
It was a night of multi-hit games for both squads. Alex Fink, Brady Schwab and Matt Tews had two hits each for Springfield. Marc Salazar added the Tigers' other hit. Brian Schwartz had a huge night in the two-hole for the Orioles with four hits, two runs scored, and an RBI. Briar Braulick added three hits, with four runs knocked in and two runs scored. Chris Reinarts also added two hits for Leavenworth. Derek Skovbroten earned the win, working six innings, giving up two unearned runs on seven hits, with three strikeouts. Alex Frank took the loss, giving up five runs, three earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts in four innings of work. Andy Cook earned a save for the Orioles, not allowing a single hit during the final three innings, while striking out three.
The loss brings to a close the 2011 season for the Tigers. They finish with an overall record of 14-16. The season saw a big improvement in their Tomahawk East League record. It went from a league worst 6-16 in 2010 to 12-10 and a second place finish in the American Division. With a good mix of veterans and up-and-coming players, the future looks bright for the Tigers!
The Tigers would like to thank all those who helped out in 2011. Special thanks go to Bob, Sharon, and Randy Sturm in the concession stand, Tucker Loomis and Doug Robertson for their work in the pressbox, and all the sponsors on Tiger Baseball! Thanks to Manager Steve Helget whose countless hours of work for the team do not go unnoticed. Also to Brady Schwab for his tireless efforts and leadership that make Riverside Park a great place to play a ballgame! While there's always work to be done, the yard looks amazing considering the three floods in less than the last twelve months! Finally, huge thanks go to all our families, whose support allows a bunch of grown men to play and continue to play the greatest game in the world each summer!
Best of luck to the Leavenworth Orioles as they advance to the Region 2C tournament, beginning on Saturday, August 6th! They'll be competing in a five-team double-elimination tournament, out of which, two teams will advance to represent the Tomahawk East in the 2011 State Amateur Baseball Tournament. 277 days until Tomahawk East opening day 2012...see you at the yard!
|A. Fink, SS/P||5||0||2||0||0||0|
|R. Sturm, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2|
|Bisel, DH||1||0||0||1||0||0||SAC, HP|
|Frank (L, 5-2)||4||7||5||3||2||2|