Amateur baseball: Jackson loses a heartbreaker
JACKSON —Winners are not chosen on paper. Only favorites.
Surely, the Jackson Bulls are favored to dispatch Minneota in the first round of the amateur baseball playoffs, but it was Minneota that drew first blood in the series opener Wednesday. The Mudhens held Jackson scoreless after the Bulls loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth inning and walked away with a 3-2 victory.
Jackson entered the contest as the No. 2 team in the First Nite League and Minneota came in as No. 7 in the Gopher League. But on this night, at least, good fortune smiled on the underdogs.
Down by a run to start the bottom of the ninth, Jackson used a walk, a walk and an error to fill the sacks off Minneota relief pitcher Matt Musser. But Musser bore down, striking out the next hitter, getting out No. 2 on a fielder’s choice at home plate, then the third out on a ground ball.
But the star of the game, Jackson manager Scott Bahr confessed, was the Mudhens’ starting pitcher, Danny Hennen.
Hennen pitched seven-plus innings, allowing five hits and Jackson’s two runs. He didn’t walk anybody, striking out two and using solid defense behind him to produce the victory.
Ryan Rasche hurled six and two-thirds innings for Jackson and took the loss. Pat Boggess finished up.
“It’s never fun to lose,” Bahr said. “But this Danny Hennen pitched really well. Rasche, I thought, matched him pitch for pitch.”
Minneota broke open a scoreless tie in the seventh inning as Jesus Machias led off with a double ahead of two outs. After an intentional walk, the Mudhens’ Tony Schiakoski delivered an RBI single. After another walk, Tyson Sonnenburg’s single plated the second and third runs.
In the bottom of the eighth, Jackson scored on an RBI triple by Zach Copley, who later scored on a wild pitch.
The two teams play next in Minneota Friday.
R H E
Min 000 000 300 — 3 6 1
Jack 000 000 020 — 2 5 0
Worthington 6, Pipestone 0
PIPESTONE — Adam Munkel pitched nine strong innings and the Worthington Cubs defeated Pipestone 6-0 in their playoff series opener.
Munkel shut out the A’s on five hits, walking three and striking out 10. The Cubs did not commit an error in the contest.
“Munkel pitched amazing. And we made plays defensively behind him,” said Worthington player-manager Josh Wasmund. “He was throwing hard and his curve ball had a real sharp break on it.”
Worthington scored a single run in the third inning that applied more pressure to the host A’s with five more runs in the fourth. The Cubs collected 13 hits in all.
Cody Melendrez was 2-for-4 for the Cubs while teammates Mitchell Jensen was 2-for-5, Wasmund 2-for-5 with a double and Munkel 2-for-4. Mitchell and Wasmund each drove in a run on the night.
Greg Quist, who went six innings for Pipestone, was the losing pitcher. He walked five and struck out three in his body of work.
The Cubs and A’s go at it again in a 2 p.m. start in Worthington.
R H E
Wor 001 500 000 — 6 13 0
Pipe 000 000 000 — 0 50 3
Hadley 5, Windom 3
WINDOM — Nick Bruning went 3-for-4, with a two-run home run in the first inning, as Hadley held on to defeat Windom 5-3.
Max Zwart and Trent Carlson each went 2-for-5 to aid the Buttermakers’ attack.
For the Pirates, Brett Mattson went 3-for-5 while Kirby Johnson, Drake, Borsgard, Danny Kneeland and Joel Riordan each had two hits.
Zach Bruns went seven-plus innings for Hadley to get the victory, allowing just one earned run. Bruning pitched to the last five batters.
Brandon Thongvivong started for Windom and took the loss.
The teams renew the series Saturday in Hadley.
R H E
Had 212 000 000 — 5 12 3
Win 000 200 010 — 3 12 4