LEGION BASEBALL: Worthington Legion shuts out Slayton 10-0
WORTHINGTON --Spreading 10 timely hits among eight players Friday evening and riding the accurate pitching performance of Deron Soderholm, Worthington Post 5 blanked Slayton, 10-0, in American Legion baseball action at the Middle School Field.
Soderholm held Post 64 in check through four innings on the mound, striking out five Slayton hitters -- all looking -- and working through several potential scoring situations to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.
"I just tried to keep throwing strikes and let my defense do the work," summed up Soderholm, who walked just two batters while scattering five hits. "I mixed up all four of my pitches -- fastball, curve, change, splitter -- and was able to get most of them across."
Indeed, Soderholm struck out two in a row to end the top of the second frame and then fanned the side in the third inning -- after back-to-back one-out singles by Austin Kluis and Trent Carlson -- had put a pair of Slayton runners on base for the second time.
"Deron was tough out there," praised Post 5 head coach Todd Rogers. "He threw strikes and his off-speed stuff really seemed to lock their hitters up and freeze them without swinging."
"We struck out too many times with runners on base," summed up Slayton head coach Joel Herrig. "We had some nice hits and got guys on (base), but did not come up with any key hits to get any of them across."
After Soderholm closed the door on Post 64 for the first four innings, Rogers gave the ball to Tyler Verdoorn for the fifth inning.
Verdoorn faced just three batters, striking out the first, getting a groundout to third for the second one and fanning the third for a 1-2-3 frame, ending the game early via the 10-run rule.
"Tyler did a real nice job pitching, striking out two of the three guys he faced," noted Rogers, who was pleased with the overall play of Worthington in the one-sided contest. "We played a lot of kids and they all contributed."
Worthington hits well, scores in each inning
At the plate, leadoff hitter Lucas Henning and cleanup batter Tommy Hayenga were both 2-for-2, while Tanner Rogers, A.J. Hayenga, Nate Ray (triple), Nate Jensen, Eric Koob (double) and Tyler Hatterman (double) also ripped hits for Post 5.
Henning started things off with a solid single down the right-field line in the bottom of the first.
After stealing second, Henning scored on an RBI single by Tommy Hayenga into left center.
On the throw to the plate, Blake Rogers (walk) advanced to third and Hayenga sprinted into second.
Jon Reller then lifted a deep ball to center field, scoring Rogers with an RBI sacrifice fly, giving Post 5 a quick 2-0 lead.
Worthington plated two more runs in the bottom of the second as Jensen was safe on an error and Tanner Rogers followed with a sharp single to left.
A nifty sacrafice bunt by Koob (1-of-1, RBI, run) moved the runners to second and third.
Jensen hustled home following a passed ball and Rogers advanced to third.
Henning drove in Rogers with an RBI single between short and third, increasing Worthington's lead to 4-0.
After Soderholm worked his third scoreless frame, Post 5 produced its biggest inning of the night.
Tommy Hayenga scorched a leadoff single to start the bottom of the third.
Then, left-handed hitting Nate Ray blasted the first pitch he saw up against the right-field fence, scoring Hayenga with an RBI triple.
Turner Hagen followed with a walk before Jensen ripped an RBI single up the middle, plating Ray and making the score 6-0.
A nifty double play -- on a line drive off the bat of Tanner Rogers --by Slayton pitcher Austin Christensen gave Worthington two outs.
But Koob kept the inning going by smacking the first pitch he saw down the third-base line, scoring Ray and hustling into second with an RBI double.
"That one felt pretty good," exclaimed Koob, who also turned a nice double play (4-U, 4-3) from his second base position in the top of the fourth inning. "I was able to turn on a first-pitch fastball and knew it was down the line, so the left fielder had a ways to go. Weber (assistant coach Ryan) waved me to second and I was able to make it before the throw came in."
With Koob on second and two outs, Tyler Hatterman lofted a ball into shallow left field.
Koob hustled home with Worthington's eighth run as the ball landed between the left fielder, third baseman and shortstop, giving Hatterman an RBI double.
Schreiber rips double for Slayton in fourth
Trailing 8-0, Slayton cracked its fifth hit of the game when third baseman Darien Schreiber ripped the first pitch to deep right field for a leadoff double.
A four-pitch walk to Kyle Vos gave Post 64 runners on first and second with no outs.
But Koob made the play on a sharply-hit ball up the middle, fielding the ball, stepping on second and firing to first for a double play.
Schreiber moved to third on the play, but Soderholm induced a grounder to himself for the third out, keeping the shutout intact.
In the bottom of the fourth, Worthington scored two more runs -- which made the 10-run rule a possibility.
Mitchell Reinsma replaced Christensen -- three complete frames -- for Slayton and was victimized by a pair of errors.
Reinsma got a groundball out (first base) and a flyball out (right field) on two of the first three batters he faced.
But in between those two outs, Hagen reached on an error.
Tanner Rogers drew a two-out walk and Hagen hustled to third on a fourth-ball wild pitch.
Koob then drew a walk, loading the bases for Hatterman.
Hatterman's hard-hit ball was not handled by the Slayton infield and bounced into the outfield as both Hagen and Rogers raced home with runs, increasing Worthington's lead to 10-0.
An infield hit by A.J. Hayenga reloaded the bases, but Reinsma ended the inning with a grounder to himself, sending Post 64 to the plate in the top of the fifth.
But Verdoorn put Slayton down in order, ending the contest early.
Worthington improves to 9-2 for the summer and will host four games next week, beginning with Luverne on Monday night.
Slayton, which drops to 0-4, received leadoff singles in each of the first two innings (Nate Wieneke and James Dahlgren), but was only able to advance a runner to third once (Schreiber in the fourth inning) as Soderholm and Verdoorn kept Post 64 from mounting any seriout threat.
R H E
Slayton 000 00 -- 0 5 3
Wgtn 224 2X -- 10 10 0
Worthington 7, Mankato 1
aMANKATO -- A solid pitching performance by Nate Jensen, along with five hits by Worthington --highlighted by Tommy Hayenga's fifth-inning two-run triple --helped Post 5 to a 7-1 victory over Mankato Thursday.
Jensen tossed a complete game, throwing all seven innings --six of them without a run --and striking out nine Mankato hitters.
Jensen issued just four walks and allowed only four hits, while giving up a solo run in the third frame.
At the plate, Worthington scored three runs in the top of the first frame and added single runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, while scoring twice in the fifth.
Aaron Pavelko, Blake Rogers, Tyler Hatterman and A.J. Hayenga also had hits in the game for Post 5.
R H E
Wgtn 300 121 0 -- 7 5 2
Mankato 001 000 0 -- 1 4 4
Luverne 7, Okabena 4
HERON LAKE -- Skylar Wenninger was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs and Richard Gonzalez had two hits and two RBIs to lead Luverne Legion over Okabena 7-4 Friday.
Alex Meyer was 2-for-3 with a solo homer, Kyle Elder and Mark Ferguson each had an RBI single to lead Okabena.
R H E
Luverne 202 030 0 -- 7 11 1
Okabena 101 020 0 -- 4 5 1