AMATEUR BASEBALL: A's power past Heron Lake
ADRIAN -- Five Adrian A's combined for 11 hits Wednesday evening and veteran pitcher Kevin Nowotny twirled a complete game as Adrian claimed a 17-7 amateur baseball victory over Heron Lake.
In a contest that featured a total of 26 hits and was closely-contested through the first three frames, Adrian pulled away with four big innings -- including a four-run bottom of the eighth when Glen Kruger's two-run walkoff homer ended the game an inning early via the 10-run rule.
"We had a nice team effort," Adrian player-coach Levi Bullerman said. "All of our guys put the ball in play and we were able to get runners on base and had some big innings."
Bullerman himself was 3-for-4 at the plate and drove in a trio of runs to lead the A's offense.
Adrian teammates Matt Gades (2-for-4, RBI), Seth Bullerman (2-for-3, two walks, four runs) Jordon Kontz (2-for-5, RBI) and Kruger (2-for-5, home run, double, two RBI) also had multiple hits, while Brian Harms and Greg Quist also smacked timely base hits in Adrian's 13-hit attack.
Nowotny, meanwhile, surrendered 13 hits -- spread among nine Lakers -- to Heron Lake, but the A's continually helped the veteran right-hander battle through each inning without the visitors ever scoring more than two in any frame.
"Kevin may not have had his best stuff," said Bullerman. "But, as a team, we made some good defensive plays and he (Nowotny) was tough on the mound when it counted."
Nowotny, who is 4-0 in five starts this summer, pitched all eight innings and walked just five batters while striking out three.
After Adrian scored twice in the bottom of the first -- aided by a pair of Heron Lake errors -- Nowotny pitched his second scoreless inning and an RBI sacrifice fly by Levi Bullerman scored Seth Bullerman with Adrian's third run in the bottom of the second.
Heron Lake answered with a strong top of the third.
Starting with a single to left by Josh Olson, the Lakers scored two runs on four hits in the frame.
Lucas Knutson (2-for-4, walk, run) followed with his second hit of the game and Heron Lake had runners on the corners with no outs.
A nice fielding play by Glen Kruger at third base cut Olson down at the plate as Kirk McBreen (1-for-3, walk, two runs, RBI) reached on a fielder's choice.
After Nowotny notched a timely strikeout, Heron Lake slapped back RBI singles as Jarred Meinders (2-for-4, walk, three RBI) drove in Knutson and Matt Franks (1-for-5) plated McBreen.
Glen Kruger, however, caught Lon Eichenberger's (2-for-5) line drive down the third base line for the third Laker out.
Eichenberger, who pitched the first five innings for Heron Lake, issued a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third, but then induced three consecutive flyball outs to hold the A's scoreless in the frame.
Nowotny held the Lakers in check in the top of the fourth. Mark Fest (1-for-3) slapped a single to left and Knutson drew a four-pitch walk, giving Heron Lake a pair of base runners, but a trio of solid fielding plays prevented any runs.
Adrian then opened up the game in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four runs on five hits and a pair of walks.
Seth Bullerman smacked a sharp single to left and advanced on a wild pitch.
Harms drew a walk and Gades poked an RBI single into right field, plating Seth Bullerman.
Levi Bullerman then scored Harms with an RBI single to the left-center field gap.
Gades made the score 6-2 when he crossed the plate after a wild pitch.
Kontz beat out an infield hit, but was retired at second on a nifty double play (4-U-3) by Heron Lake second baseman Olson.
Levi Bullerman, however, scored on the play as the A's stretched the lead to 7-2.
Quist followed with a single and Joe Kruger drew a walk, but McBreen and Olson completed a 6-4 force out at second to end the inning.
Heron Lake's Trevor Leopold (2-for-5, two doubles, two runs) ripped the first pitch of the fifth inning into the right-center field gap for a leadoff double.
Two batters later, Eichenberger drove in Leopold with an RBI single to the same gap.
Nowotny, however, retired the next two Lakers on flyouts to end the frame.
Levi Bullerman plated Harms with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, putting the A's up by an 8-3 margin and then Adrian -- aided by a pair of Heron Lake errors -- scored two more runs to take a 10-3 lead.
A solid fielding play by McBreen at shortstop ended the inning with no more scoring.
The Lakers battled back in the top of the sixth as McBreen drew a two-out walk and advanced to third on a sharp double to left by Leopold.
Meinders than plated both McBreen and Leopold with a scorching two-run single down the third base line.
Nowotny ended the threat with a timely strikeout.
Ike Rogers (1-for-4), who had done the catching for the first five innings, took the mound for Heron Lake in the bottom of the sixth.
A bases-loaded two-run single by Harms scored both Joe Kruger and Jason Stubbe (who had drawn walks) and later Levi Bullerman's RBI sacrifice fly to center field plated Seth Bullerman with his fourth run of the game.
Trailing 13-5, Heron Lake scored twice in the top of the seventh.
Rogers laced a one-out single and then Chad Knutson and Olson drew walks to load the bases.
Rogers scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Lucas Knutson and McBreen's RBI single plated Chad Knutson with Heron Lake's seventh run.
A nice running catch by Kontz in right field robbed Leopold of his third extra-base hit of the night and ended the Laker threat.
After Rogers pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh, Nowotny did the same in the top of the eighth.
Then the A's finished the slugfest in the bottom of the frame.
Seth Bullerman and Gades both drew walks and scored as Heron Lake commited its fifth error of the game and Kontz delivered a sacrifice fly RBI.
Bullerman, who had reached on the error, cruised home ahead of Glen Kruger as the game-ending blow by the left-handed power hitter soared over the right-center field fence.
Heron Lake (5-13, 5-12) hosts Spencer (Iowa) on Sunday.
Adrian (15-10, 13-6) hosts Minneota and Luverne Sunday.
R H E
HL 002 012 20 -- 7 13 5
Ad. 10 433 04 -- 17 13 1
Minneota 10, Hadley 4
MINNEOTA -- Minneota scored eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to overcome a two-run deficit and defeat Hadley.
Luke Beers went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI, and Ryan Beers went 1-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Buttermakers. Max Zwart added a hit and two runs.
R H E
Had. 100 100 200 -- 4 7 2
Mn. 100 101 80x -- 10 13 3