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Amateur baseball: Hirsch silences Worthington bats

Windom pitcher Andrew Hirsch (right) throws to first to retire Josh Wasmund (27) of Worthington during the Pirates' 5-0 win over the Cubs Sunday at Trojan Field. (ZACH HACKER/DAILY GLOBE)

WORTHINGTON — For seven innings, it didn’t look like anyone was going to score when Worthington and Windom met on Sunday.

Cubs pitcher Adam Munkel and Andrew Hirsch of the Pirates were both dealing. They had combined to allow only five hits when the eighth inning began.

That is when Windom separated itself.

The Pirates put up two runs in eighth and three in the ninth to hand Worthington a 5-0 First Nite League loss.

“During the first seven innings he gave us all you can ask for in a pitcher,” Worthington player-coach Josh Wasmund said of Munkel. “Then, I don’t know if it was just frustration over the fact that we weren’t scoring any runs for him or what. But, he worked hard today.”

As strong as Munkel was, Hirsch had the upper hand. The Cubs threatened to score twice, but each time he got the out he needed to keep them off the board.

In the second inning, Joe Joswiak and Mark Ferguson drew back-to-back walks with two outs before Nate Jensen legged out an infield hit to load the bases. Hirsch got out of the jam, however, with his first of nine strikeouts on the day.

“He wasn’t overpowering,” Wasmund said of Hirsch. “But the differential between his fastball and his off-speed stuff made his fastball better.”

Already down 2-0, the Cubs nearly mounted a rally of their own in the bottom of the eighth, again with two outs.

This time, Munkel helped his own cause with an infield single. Justin Jass came through with a single to put two on before Wasmund walked with two outs to load ‘em up again. This time, Joswiak sent a high flyball to deep left field, but it wasn’t deep enough. It was caught for the third out and Hirsch had thwarted disaster a second time.

“It seemed like whenever we got runners on, their pitcher did what he needed to do. He got us to swing at a pitch out of the zone.”

For the Windom offense, it was the top of the order that did most of the damage. The no. 4-9 hitters in the Pirates lineup went a combined 2-for-22 with three walks and one batter reaching on an error. The 1-3 hitters, however, that was a different story. Drake Borsgard, Joel Riordan and Sam Huska combined to go 7-for-15 with three doubles, four runs scored and five RBIs.

Still, Munkel had pretty much cruised through Windom’s first three trips through the order. It was when Borsgard, the Pirates leadoff batter, led off the eighth with a hit that the tides turned.

Borsgard opened the inning with a single and stole second before an infield hit for Riordan put runners at the corners. Riordan quickly joined his teammate in scoring position with a stolen based to set the table for Huska. He came through with a two-run single that put the visitors on top 2-0.

After Worthington came up empty with its opportunity in the eighth, Hirsch drew a two-out walk to keep the ninth inning alive for Windom. Borsgard sent courtesy runner Andrew Larson home with a double, the first extra base hit of the game.

Two-baggers by both Riordan and Huska pushed two more runners across and brought the game to its final.

Hirsch got the win, scattering just four hits over nine innings. He struck out nine and walked four. Munkel allowed five earned runs on nine hits, struck out five and walked three.

Huska finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and three RBIs. Borsgard and Riordan were both 2-for-5 with two runs scored and one driven in. Jensen, Ryan Swanson, Jass and Ferguson had one hit each for Worthington.

The Cubs (4-8 overall, 2-6 FNL) will try to bounce back and break a scoreless innings streak that stands at 20 at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when they host a league bout with Lakefield. Windom (4-5 overall, 2-4 FNL) is back on the road at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday against league foe Jackson.

“They’re a young team, too,” Wasmund said of Wednesday’s opponent. “Hopefully our veterans can help pick us up and we can start scoring some runs.”


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Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

(507) 376-7335