LEGION BASEBALL: Worthington Legion outduels Fairmont 6-3
WORTHINGTON -- In the game of baseball, good pitching goes a long way toward winning games. The stellar performance of Worthington Legion's Jon Reller in a 6-3 win against Fairmont Thursday night went a long way to proving that hypothesis.
"Jonny did a good job," Worthington coach Todd Rogers said. "He threw a lot of strikes. He was wearing down there a little bit, so we had to save him a little bit. We have a few games coming up here, so we had Lucas come in and he did a good job also."
Worthington jumped back from a 5-3 heartbreaker on Tuesday night against Pipestone to put together a complete game of timely hitting and solid defense. Once again, coach Rogers gave his team a pre-game pep talk that seemed to do the trick of getting his team to play up to their potential.
"I told the boys that if we play ball we can beat these guys," Rogers said. "We hit the ball. We had dang good pitching and made the plays. We did a good job tonight. Everything went our way tonight."
It seemed like the game would turn into a pitcher's duel with both Reller and Fairmont pitcher Bryce Holm throwing two strikeouts and getting the other batter to ground out in the first fram. But after Reller threw three straight strike-outs in the top of the second, Worthington opened up the bottom of the inning with a double by Tyler Hatterman. Two batters later, Tommy Hayenga hit another double to get Hatterman home.
"We hit the ball pretty good," Rogers said. "We didn't get a lot of hits, but we had three or four doubles. It seems like we scored when we got them on."
In the top of the third Reller continued to dominate forcing Fairmont to fly out twice while getting another batter to strike-out swinging. Worthington's bunting game got started with a two out bunt single by Hayenga in the bottom of the third.
"Alex [Hayenga] got some good bunts down, some really good bunts," Rogers said. "That was great for us."
After another scoreless frame, Fairmont threatened to score in the top of the fifth before Worthington put out the flames. With back to back singles by Fairmont's Andy Reiter and Bryce Holm to put two men on board, Sean Klein hit what looked to be a two RBI single.
But good fielding in the outfield allowed Worthington to get the ball to home plate in time to tag out Reiter with time to spare. A quick throw from catcher Blake Rogers caught Holm off guard at third base, which turned the single out into two.
The bottom of the fifth saw Worthington jump back onto the offensive, adding two more runs to put them up 3-0. After an early fly out, Lucas Henning hit a one out double followed up by another Hayenga bunt single to put runners on first and third.
"We played good small ball and had good bunts as well," Rogers said.
Following up the two hits, Hayenga attempted to steal second, only to get frozen between the bases by Fairmont pitcher Holm. Holm appeared to forget about the runner on third when he casually strolled toward Hayenga waiting to throw him out at first and second.
With the pitcher's back to him, Henning saw his opportunity and took off for home just before Holm realized his mistake and threw the ball home. The pitch was too late to catch Henning and the throw allowed Hayenga to reach third.
"It felt good. Arm felt good," Reller said. "My curveball was working. I had good defense tonight, so that was good."
The top of the sixth inning was one Worthington would like to have back. After a single and a double by Fairmont, Ryan Noll hit an RBI single to put men on first and second.
During the next at bat, relief pitcher Lucas Henning made a bad throw to try and pick off the runner stealing third only to have his throw roll past the third baseman, allowing another run to score, bringing Fairmont within one.
Worthington would have its revenge in the bottom of the inning when an error, a single and a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third. After a ground out to the mound, Fairmont pitcher Holm threw two consecutive wild pitches to score both runners.
With another runner on first after a walk, Lucas Henning got his second hit of the night on an RBI double to put Worthington up 6-2.
"It was nice that we hit the ball," Reller said. "We got our pitchers some running support. Nate [Jensen] should have had the win against Pipestone [Tuesday], but we didn't help him out. I got help tonight."
Henning finished off the game, allowing one run in the seventh before shutting the door on a swinging strikeout for a final score of 6-3.
Worthington Legion plays Fulda tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Worthington.
R H E
FAIRMONT 000 002 1 -- 3 9 1
WGTN 010 023 X --6 8 1
Daily Globe Sports Jordan Willi may be reached at 376-7335.
Worthington Area Storm split double header
JACKSON -- The Worthington Storm 18-and under softball team traveled to Jackson and earned a split in their doubleheader Thursday night.
Angela Robinson went nine innings, throwing three strikeouts and walking one, in a 5-4 loss in extra innings in the first game of the doubleheader. Both teams scored two runs in the first, before Worthington broke the tie in the fifth. Jackson would tie it up again in the seventh to force extra innings, where they would score in the bottom of the ninth to get the win.
Robinson went 4-for-4, while Rebecca and Christine Kazemba both had one hit.
In the second game, Christine Kazemba would get the 7-1 win, going seven innings with three strikeouts and a walk.
Jackson would score first, but the Storm turned it around in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three runs. They would add another four unanswered runs to get the win.
Jenny Majerus and Brandie Timmerman both went 3-for-3, while Timmerman hitting in four runs.
The Storm will be playing in a tournament in Sioux Falls this weekend.
Game 1 R
WGTN 200 010 010 -- 4
Jackson 200 000 111 -- 5
Game 2 R
WGTN 302 011 0 -- 7
Jackson 100 000 0 -- 1
Worthington Area 16-and-under get swept
St. James -- The Worthington Area 16-and-under softball team lost both games in a doubleheader Thursday night against Maple River in St. James.
In game one, Worthington only scored two runs before the fifth inning, while Maple River put up all of their eight runs. In the bottom of the fifth, Worthington came to life, scoring five runs, but it was a too little, too late in the 8-7 loss.
Betsey Thompson and Paige Kinley both went 2-for-3, with Kinley getting two RBIs in the loss.
In game two, Worthington was blown out 10-0 in four innings.
The team is next in action July 10.
Game 1 R H E
WGTN 001 15 -- 7 9 0
MAPLE RIVER 023 30 -- 8 5 0