Leopold cousins, Franks lead 6-2 Laker victory
WINDOM -- First cousins Mitch and Tyler Leopold stroked the big hits and after a shaky first inning, Heron Lake's Matt Franks pitched a gem, shutting out Windom over the next seven.
Getting a total of 11 hits and a clutch relief performance from Jerry Haberman, the Heron Lakers defeated the Windom Pirates, 6-2 at Island Park, eliminating the top-seeded Pirates (11-8) from the First Nite League playoffs.
Heron Lake (6-14) stays alive in the double elimination tournament and will face the Jackson Bulls at Jackson Friday evening. Fox Lake defeated Jackson Wednesday, 5-2.
Windom's Cody Anderson (2-for-3) delivered a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the first inning to give the Pirates a quick 1-0 lead.
But after walking three straight in that inning, Franks was in control until the ninth.
The right-hander retired the Pirates in order four times and did not allow another run until Matt Anderson's double boomed off the left field fence in the bottom of the ninth, plating Cody Anderson (who had walked) with Windom's second run.
Haberman struck out two of the four batters he faced to earn the save.
Franks allowed just five hits and four walks in his eight solid innings of work. He finished with four timely strikeouts.
Jeff Karshnik took the loss for the Pirates, surrendering six hits and three walks, while striking out three. Heron Lake's first three runs came against Karschnik.
Mitch Leopold (3-for-5) drove in Heron Lake's first two runs in the top of the fourth inning with a double that scored Tyler Leopold and Chad Knutson.
Josh Wasmund's RBI sacrifice fly plated Todd Waller (3-for-4, two runs) with Heron Lake's third run in the top of the fifth.
Two innings later, Tyler Leopold's (2-for-4) two-run double scored Waller and Ike Rogers, putting the Lakers up by a 5-1 count.
With the bases-loaded in the top of the ninth, Wasmund crossed the plate after a passed ball, stretching Heron Lake's lead to 6-1.
Windom rallied briefly in the bottom of the inning when Cody Anderson drew a walk and cousin Matt's blast to the wall drove him in.
But Haberman closed the door and the Lakers extended their season.
Rogers, Tony Jorgenson and Lucas Knutson also had hits for the Lakers, while Cody Anderson (double), Karschnik and Kirby Johnson stroked hits for the Pirates.
R H E
HL 000 210 201 -- 6 11 0
Windom 100 000 001 -- 2 5 2