Rebels split Section 3A baseball contests
ADRIAN -- Trailing 5-2 after four-and-a-half innings Saturday, Murray County Central plated 10 runs in the bottom of the fifth and claimed a 12-5 victory over Windom in an opening round game of the Section 3A high school baseball tournament.
The victory advanced the Rebels (10-6) to the winner's side of the south bracket in the double elimination tourney, while sending the Eagles (7-13) to the left side of the bracket.
A total of seven MCC players combined for 13 hits and nine different Rebels crossed the plate in the contest, which featured strong, swirling wind conditions -- that turned several potential routine catches into wind-driven hits.
There were eight extra-base hits in the game -- five by MCC and three by Windom -- including a three-run homer by Eagle Brett Dumke that highlighted Windom's five-run fourth inning.
But it was the 10 runs scored by the Rebels in their half of the fifth that gave the well-balanced MCC squad the advantage and the win.
Six players -- Eric Wieneke, Paul Counter, Jake Sweetman, Alex Peterson, Brian Everson and Justin Reinsma -- had a pair of hits for MCC, and three Rebels (Wieneke, Counter and Reinsma) each scored two runs.
"We made some base running mistakes early in the game," MCC head coach Tarry Boelter said after the contest. "But, we stayed focused at the plate and had lots of players contribute several well-placed, timely hits."
Sweetman (2-for-4, triple, two RBI's, one run) delivered an RBI triple in the bottom of the first, plating Counter (who had been hit by a pitch).
In the bottom of the second, the Rebels scored again when Wieneke (2-for-3, double, two RBI's, two runs) drove in Reinsma with an RBI single.
A great throw home by Eagle shortstop Charlie Dunnick to catcher Pat Rhubee (6-2) cut down on other potential MCC run in that inning.
Left-handers Counter (MCC) and Bryce Grove (Windom) each pitched a scoreless third frame, and then Windom -- which had went nine up and nine down against Counter in the first three innings -- exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth.
A leadoff double by Sam Fischenich gave the Eagles their first base runner, and after Lukas Gotto was hit by a pitch, Dumke blasted the ball over the left field fence, giving the Eagles a 3-2.
Grove followed with a sharp single and Ryan Gilbertson smacked a one-out single, putting Eagles on first and third. Grove then scored Windom's fourth run, streaking home on a wild pitch, before an RBI double by Colin Tritz, to the left-center field gap, plated Gilbertson.
Counter, who finished with 10 strikeouts and just one walk, did not give up another hit and allowed only three base runners the rest of the game. The Eagles drew the walk and had a runner reach on an error in the fifth, were retired in order in the sixth and had a batter get hit by a pitch in the seventh.
"Other than that fourth inning, Paul was tough on the mound," praised Boelter. "He had good control and came up with some big strikeouts."
Counter had struck out the side, in order, in the top of the second.
MCC's fifth inning surge started with a trio of free passes. Wieneke walked, Ben Clarke was hit by a pitch and Counter walked. Sweetman's bases-loaded single scored Wieneke and then DeLong's wind-driven double to deep right, plated both Clarke and Counter, knotting the score at 5-5.
Peterson's two-RBI double gave MCC a 7-5 lead and, after an infield hit by Everson, Reinsma's RBI single increased the advantage to 8-5.
There were still no outs, when Mike Tentiger's bunt was misfired into the outfield, allowing both Everson and Reinsma to score. Tentiger hustled all the way to third and scored on Wieneke's RBI double. An RBI single by Counter finished the seven-hit, 10-run, inning for the Rebels, who utilized Counter's steady pitching to maintain their lead and post the victory.
Gilbertson pitched a one-two-three sixth for the Eagles, getting one strikeout and inducing a pop-up to short and a fly-out to center.
R H E
Windom 000 500 0 -- 5 5 1 MCC 110 0(10)0 X -- 12 13 1
Springfield 16, Windom 6 (6 innings)
ADRIAN -- Scoring three-plus runs in each of the final four innings, the ninth-seeded Springfield Tigers earned a 10-run victory over fifth-seeded Windom to remain alive in the Section 3A South baseball tournament.
Springfield (8-12) plays third-seeded Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in another losers' bracket game tonight in Luverne at 5 p.m., while Windom ends the season with a record of 7-14.
Ryan Cook and Trevor Krebs each slammed a two-run home run in the fifth inning to help the Tigers break the game open.
Windom gained a 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the third, as Charlie Dunnick led off with a ground-rule double to right-center and scored on Sam Fischenich's single up the middle.
Lukas Gotto followed with an RBI-triple to center and scored on a sacrifice fly to deep second base off the bat of Bryce Grove.
Springfield scored four runs in the bottom of the third, as Alex Frank, Cook, Marc Salazar and Tyler Stark each touched home plate. Luke Amsden had an RBI-sacrifice fly, Stark had an RBI-single, and Bill Krueger stroked a two-run single.
The Tigers made it 9-3 with five runs in the fourth, as Frank (double), Stark (single) and Krueger (single) each drove in a run. Frank and courtesy-runner Ethan Fennern both scored on a passed ball.
Windom pulled a couple of runs back in the fifth to make it 9-5. Gotto's RBI-single scored Fischenich, and Pat Rhubee's RBI-double plated Grove to spark the Eagles.
However, Cook and Krebs each went deep with a runner on base to put the Tigers up 13-5 heading into the sixth inning.
Windom's Sam Dewanz reached on an error in the sixth and scored on another RBI-single from Gotto (3-for-4, three RBIs) to make it 13-6.
Springfield then ended the game early with three runs in the sixth to move on to tonight's game.
Dan Scamp hurled a complete game and fanned five batters for Springfield, while Dunnick and Ryan Gilbertson shared the pitching duties for Windom.
Dunnick and Rhubee each had two hits for the Eagles, while Brett Dumke, Dewanz and Colin Tritz each had a hit, as well.
R H E
WHS 003 021 -- 6 11 1
SHS 004 543 -- 16 14 3