Adrian falls to Jordan, 7-1, will play La Crescent in consolation bracket
ELY -- Facing the two-time defending state champions, Adrian could manage just two hits as Post 32 fell to Jordan 7-1 Friday in the opening round of the American Legion Division II State Baseball Tournament.
"The way we've been swinging the bat, it's disappointing to only get one run," Adrian head coach Greg Kruger said. "But we have tomorrow yet. I hope we can come back."
Adrian moves to the consolation bracket and will La Crescent at 12:30 p.m. today.
"It's a good feeling to be here, it's not the greatest to come up here and lay an egg the first game, but we'll be ready for the next game," Glen Kruger said.
Adrian was kept off balance all game by Jordan starting pitcher T.J. Oakes. Oakes earned the win as he threw all seven innings, while allowing just one run on two hits. His downfall was the seven walks he allowed, compared to six strikeouts.
"He threw the ball hard, but he didn't throw a lot of junk," Brandon Diekmann said. "We were told that he has two brothers at the U of M and his dad is the pitching coach, so we did get a little psyched out a little."
Adam Diekmann admitted that his aura may have played a factor in the game.
"We were more psyched out more than anything," Adam Diekmann said.
Adam Diekmann picked up the first hit of the game in the first inning, while Brandon Diekmann had the other hit in the game - a single in the seventh.
Adam also walked twice.
"He (Oakes) wasn't as sharp as he has been," Jordan head coach Ron Beckman said. "He was a little more sporadic in terms of being over the plate but T.J. on maybe a not so good day is still better than a lot of pitchers. Obviously we were happy that he was able to complete the game."
Adrian seemed to get to Oakes in the first inning. After Cody Kontz grounded out, Adam Diekmann hit a double down the right field line. With two outs, Glen Kruger walked, putting two on with two outs. However, Brandon Diekmann's hard hit ball went right to the shortstop who stepped on second for the third out.
"I thought their pitcher really kept our bats quiet, he did a good job of mixing things up," Glen Kruger said. "He threw decently hard and his slurve or curveball was breaking in the early innings, but it slowed down later. It kept us in check."
Meanwhile, in the bottom of the first, Jordan drew first blood. Kontz struck out Jake Riesgraf to lead off the game, but Steven Beckman singled. The next batter, Joe Lucas, doubled to drive home Beckman as Jordan took a 1-0 advantage. Post 3 was not done yet however. Mark Trapp later singled to drive in Lucas as Jordan held a 2-0 lead.
"It was important to get a lead early, I think that helped us," Ron Beckman said. "We got some good at bats and we were able to get some clutch hits, but best of all, I think we played a good defensive game."
Neither defenses committed an error in the game, while each team made some solid plays in the field.
"We played pretty good defense," Glen Kruger said. "It seemed like everything they hit to us we fielded, it's just we were finding holes and we weren't."
Brett Nowotny walked to lead off the second inning, and later stole second. However, the Adrian bats could not drive him home, as the next three batters struck out to end the threat.
Jordan then scored more runs in the bottom half of the second. Stephen Krueger walked and was driven in by Tim Garnhardt. Garnhardt was then driven in by Steven Beckman - giving Jordan a 4-0 lead.
Adam Diekmann walked in the top of the third, but once again, the Adrian offense could not get the key hit when it needed to drive in a run.
"They got the timely hits," Greg Kruger said of Jordan. "We had our chances in the first three innings, we left four guys on."
Jordan added two more runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Trailing by seven, the Adrian team battled back in the seventh. Brandon Diekmann finally found a hole after hitting the ball hard all day and led off with a single. With one out, Reid Strand and Zach Reker walked to load the bases. Matt Gades hit into a fielder's choice, but pinch runner Joey Bertrand scored on the play, bringing the score to 7-1. Adrian could not manage another run in the game as Post 32 lost by six.
"We're pretty happy and it's a good way to get game one out of the way," Ron Beckman said.
Jordan will now face the winner of the same Ely and La Crescent game. That match up will be tonight at 8 p.m.
However, Ron Beckman said it was a good win, but it doesn't necessarily put his team in the driver's seat.
"I think the reality is that our team expects to win when T.J. is on the mound, so I don't think it necessarily puts us in any better position," Beckman said. "I think like any other team, the key is to come ready to play tomorrow and that's what our job is as coaches is to try and figure out what to do all day so they can come ready to play tomorrow night."
For Adrian, Kontz suffered the loss. He threw all six innings, allowing eight hits while walking four and striking out three.
Jordan was led offensively by Lucas and Trapp. Both players had two hits and drove in two. Steven Beckman also had two hits and an RBI.
Adrian falls to 22-8 on the season, while Jordan improves to 28-1. All Post 32 can do now is await their opponent and hope they don't go two and out.
"We have to get our bats going. Our defense was good, and Cody pitched well," Greg Kruger said. "We had a couple of mental mistakes, but that happens."
R H E
Adrian 000 000 1 - 1 2 0
Jordan 220 021 x - 7 8 0