Jackson clinches series with 18-6 win over Hadley in Game 2
HADLEY -- The Jackson Bulls swept its best-of-three series against the Hadley Buttermakers by winning 18-6 Saturday in Hadley.
The Bull offense went to work right away with their leadoff batter, Andy Wolf, getting on base with a single off of Hadley draftee, Chad Lindaman, of the Windom Pirates. Jackson's second batter, Ryan Rasche, would reach on an error by the Hadley infield, which would allow Wolf to advance to third. The No. 3 hitter for the Bulls, Pat Rients, hit into a double play, but a run would score on the throw, putting Jackson up 1-0.
"Getting on them early is always big," Jackson catcher, Blaise Jacobsen, said. "We always play better when we have our top guys hitting well. Then our bottom guys pick up their play too."
The Buttermakers weren't able to match the Bulls offense in the bottom of the inning, with Jackson pitcher Tom Hady making quick work of Hadley's first three batters.
"I felt pretty good, but I relied on my defense a lot," Hady said. "Our defense played well behind me, as it usually has all year."
Jackson's offense really woke up in the top of the second, after Jacobsen (4-for-6, seven RBIs) picked up the first of his two doubles on the night to get a man into scoring position. After a wild pitch and a walk by Lindaman, the Bulls had runners on first and third for Mike Wierson, who would single into the outfield to put Jackson up by two.
An error by the Hadley infield would load the bases for Jackson, but Lindaman picked up one of his two strikeouts to give Hadley their first out of the inning. However, two RBI singles by Wolf (3-for-6, RBI) and Rasche (4-for-6, 2 RBI) would keep the bases loaded and make the score 4-0 Jackson. A sacrifice fly would score another run for the Bulls and leave two men on for Marcus Schultz, who would hit a ground rule double over the center-field fence to pick up another run for the Bulls, giving them a five-run lead.
With two men on, Jacobsen cleared the bases with a two-out double to push the Bulls lead to eight. At this point, the Buttermakers decided to make a pitching change, bringing in pitcher Zach Bruns to relieve Lindaman. Bruns would get the next Jackson batter to ground out to first to end the inning.
"We just had a little trouble there in the second inning and they were hitting the ball well," Hadley coach Myron Bennett said. "You don't turn the double play ball and you end up giving them extra outs. That comes back to bite you every time."
The Buttermakers wouldn't get much offense going again in the bottom of the second, but they were able to pick up their first hit of the game coming off the bat of Paul Counter. Hady once again had a strong showing from his defense, which had to make tough plays to get the three outs in the second.
"We can play a lot more relaxed when we are ahead," Hady said.
The Buttermakers were able to find a way to slow down the Bulls offense in the top of the third, allowing three singles, but not surrendering a run. This would be the first of four sluggish innings by the Jackson offense, which was only able to put up two more runs in those four innings to grab a 10-0 lead.
"We always seem to score runs in those first two innings, but after that we tend to go stale for a little bit," Jacobsen said. "Then it takes another shot like Caleb's [Rossow] to get the lineup hitting again. We got up by eight and that was enough to feel comfortable, but then I feel like some of our guys get a little too comfortable and we get on our heels like that and then, sure enough, they creep back in it."
The Hadley offense wouldn't fare much better than Jackson, getting only two hits total in the third and fourth innings. But the Buttermakers offense would come to life in the bottom of the fifth, to score their first two runs off a single by Eric Wieneke and a double by Joe Larson.
With the Bulls offense struggling, Hadley took advantage by putting up another three runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull within five. But the Jackson offense surged back in the top of the eighth to take back control of the game.
The Bulls got two men on off a walk and a single, then would pick up a run on a ground out to first by Jacobsen. In the next at bat, Rossow would come to the plate with one man on and smash a two-run home run over the fence to put the Bulls up 13-5.
Hadley had a tough time figuring out Jackson's side-arm pitching draftee, Brennan Holm, of the Fox Lake Foxes, in his three innings of relief. Holm struck out the side in the bottom of the eighth to pull the Bulls within one inning of moving on to the next round.
"We stuck in there for a while, but our arms just got a little tired there in the end," Bennett said. "Hats off to them, they hit the ball well. But overall, it was a good year for us. This is a pretty young team, so there is something to build on in the future for us."
The top of the ninth was another nightmare for the Buttermakers, with Jackson picking up another five runs. Four of the five runs scored by Jackson in the inning came off the bat of Jacobsen who hit a grand slam over the center-field fence to seal the win for the Bulls.
"The first two I was behind a lot," Jacobsen said. "Compared to the other pitchers, [Eric Wieneke] was throwing them a little harder. So I just loaded up for the next pitch and hit it out."
In the bottom of the ninth, Hadley allowed some of their bench players to get at-bats, pinch hitting four of their last six batters. The pinch hitters did their job, getting two singles, and an RBI to give the Buttermakers one last run to make the final score 18-6.
"We'll let it go for now, but we have a young team and the future looks bright for us," Bennett said. "We'll be back though."
With the series win, Jackson moves on to play Wilmont Wednesday in Wilmont.
R H E
Jackson 170 110 035 -- 18 19 3
Hadley 000 023 001 -- 6 11 3
Daily Globe Reporter Jordan Willi
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Wilmont wins series versus Milroy
MILROY -- Wilmont put the finishing touches on a sweep of Milroy Saturday, knocking off the Irish 10-7 in Game 2 of the three-game series in the Region 13C playoffs .
Tom Albrecht went six innings, striking out seven, to get the win and Nick Ahrens picked up a three-inning save.
Ahrens went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, Jesse Teerink was 2-for-5 with three RBIs, Joe Ahrens was 2-for-4 with two doubles, Steven Kremer was 3-for-5 and Jay Scheidt and Justin Saufley each hit homers for the Cardinals.
Wilmont will host Jackson Wednesday
R H E
Wilmont 101 120 203 -- 10 14 0
Milroy 000 141 001 -- 7 10 2
Pipestone comes back from 0-1 to win series
LUVERNE -- After dropping Game 1 to Luverne in the Region 13C amatuer baseball playoffs, Pipestone took Game 2 Saturday 3-1 and the elimination game Sunday 6-5 to move on to the next round versus Fairmont.
The A's will begin their series Wednesday at Fairmont.