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Amateur baseball: Sandbulte, Ackerman help A's beat Cubs

DOUG WOLTER/DAILY GLOBE Adrian A’s starting pitcher Ross Ackerman walks off the mound to encouragement from his teammates after shutting down the Worthington Cubs in the second inning of Wednesday’s league playoff game at Worthington’s middle school field.

WORTHINGTON — Adrian A’s second baseman Colin Sandbulte was having a rough game.

When he came to bat in the top of the ninth inning with the score tied 1-1 against the Worthington Cubs Wednesday night, he had gone hitless in his first four trips to the plate.

What’s more, in one of those at bats, after he reached first base on a fielder’s choice, he got picked off.

“At the beginning of the game, he was getting a little bit frustrated,” his manager, Seth Bullerman said later. “But I told him, ‘Hey, you’ll come through in the end.’ And he did.”

Sandbulte did, indeed, slapping a two-run single in a three-run Adrian ninth to put his team ahead 4-1 in the first game of the two team’s best-of-three league playoff series.

Worthington went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth — all on ground outs — and the A’s won.

The A’s had another hero Wednesday. He was righthanded pitcher Ross Ackerman, who went the distance on a seven-hitter. The tall, lanky Ackerman only struck out four Cubs batters. But he didn’t walk anyone.

The Cubs got another strong outing from their ace, Adam Munkel, who also allowed just seven hits in a route-going performance.

Munkel struck out seven and walked five. He struggled somewhat in the first inning, loading the bases with nobody out on a couple of walks and a single. But he gave up just one run in that frame, then shut out the A’s until the ninth.

“Both pitchers were on tonight. It was a lot of fun to watch,” said Bullerman. “It was an exciting game, it was a well-played game.”

Ackerman, said Bullerman, “really battled tonight. I can’t say enough about the great game he had.”

Worthington got a runner to third base off Ackerman with one out in the second inning after Josh Wasmund led off with a double. But he was stranded there.

The Cubs’ only run came in the fourth inning when catcher Joe Joswiak homered over the leftfield fence.

With the score knotted at 1-1, Adrian began the top of the ninth with a ground out to shortstop, Then a fly ball by Ackerman misjudged in the outfield went for a double. After a fly out to centerfield, then a walk and then an RBI single by Hunter Sieperda, Sandbulte put more distance between the two teams with his two-run single.

Wasmund, Worthington’s player-coach, was disappointed his Cubs lost the all-important first game at home.

“We were putting the ball in play,” he said about Wednesday’s affair. “We just gotta hit better. Especially when we get runners on, we have to find a way to score.”

Worthington and some other First Nite League and Gopher League teams continue their series on Friday at 7:30 p.m. as Luverne is at Lakefield, Worthington is at Adrian and Martin County is at Pipestone. On Saturday in 2 p.m. contests, Windom is at Hadley, Heron Lake at Milroy and Fairmont is at Tracy.

The third games in the best-of-three series are scheduled for Sunday.


Adrian 100 000 003 — 4 7 0

Wor 000 100 000 — 1 7 0

Hadley 12, Windom 0

WINDOM — The Buttermakers kicked up their heels, rapping out 14 hits in a one-sided seven-inning victory over the Pirates.

Joe Larson went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Nick Bruning was 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs and Max Zwart was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. Nate Wieneke had two hits and two RBIs and Colby Pack had two hits and an RBI double.

All four of Windom’s hits were singles.

Justin Reinsma pitched the full seven innings for Hadley (18-10), walking just one and striking out three. Collin Lovell started for Windom, going five innings with eight runs allowed but only three earned.

Windom (6-14) committed five errors in the game while Hadley played errorless ball.


Hadley 003 041 4 — 12 14 0

Windom 000 000 0 — 0 4 5

Milroy 11, Heron Lake 3

JACKSON — Milroy went 12 innings to tip Heron Lake, as the two teams were tied 3-3 until the Irish scored eight runs in the top of the 12th.

Mason Schnaible hit a go-ahead solo home run in the 12th. Dominic Dolan scored three runs for the winners.

Schnaible was the winning pitcher, hurling the final four innings. Alex Meyer took the loss for the Lakers.

Lucas Knutson and Matt Franks had two hits and Lon Eichenberger had three for Heron Lake.


Milroy 100 000 011 008 — 11 19 1

Heron Lake 011 010 000 000 — 3 12 1

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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