Trojan Baseball: Run-fest in Worthington
WORTHINGTON -- With the wind blowing out and a game-time temperature above 90 degrees Tuesday afternoon, it just felt like one of those days where no lead was safe.
That was exactly the case, as the Worthington Trojans scored 13 sixth-inning runs to surge into a 15-all tie after falling behind the Marshall Tigers 15-2 in the first game of a scheduled Southwest Conference doubleheader at Minnesota West Field.
It was the Tigers, however, who parried Worthington's rally with a seven-run seventh, claiming a 22-16 win in a game that took nearly 3 1/2 hours to complete. The nightcap of the twinbill was suspended due to darkness with Marshall leading Worthington 11-4 after three innings. The conclusion of Game 2 will be played at a site and date to be determined.
"We put up 15 and at no point in time did I not feel that (Worthington) could put up 15," said Marshall's head coach Chace Pollock, whose Tigers improved to 7-7 overall and 5-4 in the SWC. "It was just one of those days where if you put the ball in play, you were going to score some runs."
"Our kids did a nice job of responding after dealing with that adversity. I'm really proud of the kids coming back in the seventh and putting seven on the board."
The Tigers built a 4-0 lead after three as Colton Peterson and Aaron Mathiowetz each hit an RBI double in the first before Derek Buysse launched a two-run homer to left-center in the third.
Peterson, who limited WHS to one hit over the first four innings with six strikeouts as the Tigers' starting pitcher, blasted a two-run dinger in the fourth to help make it 7-0, while MHS batted around in a four-run fifth for an 11-0 advantage.
Blake Rogers extended the Trojans' fate in the fifth when the senior catcher hit a rocket to dead center for a two-run home run to make it 11-2, scoring Tyler Hatterman, who had started the inning with a double and later added a towering solo homer down the left-field line in the seventh.
Peterson limited further WHS damage in the fifth and the Tigers again looked to put the game away with a four-run sixth as Bryce Johnson (triple), Peterson (double) and Leo Zerr (two-run double) each gathered an extra-base hit in the frame.
Trailing 15-2, the Trojans loaded the bases off Tigers' reliever Conner Messman on singles by Ryan Lee and Hatterman, while Rogers was hit by a pitch before Nathan Ray plated the first two runners with a double that opened the WHS comeback.
Deron Soderholm followed Ray's two-run double with a two-run single to make it 15-6. Following an error in the outfield and walks to Tristan Sorensen and Aaron Pavelko that chased Messman from the game, Lee cut the deficit to five runs with a two-run single to center off Carl Douglas, who entered as the second Tigers' reliever.
Rogers added an RBI single that cut it to 15-11 before a trio of infield errors scored another run and loaded the bases for Zach Kempema, who tied the game at 15 with a bases-clearing double that scored Ray, Soderholm and Hagen.
"That was clutch," Trojans head coach Stacy Sauerbrei said of Kempema's pinch hit. "Zach has worked hard on his hitting and he's one of the guys we rotate in the left-field position and in the eight-spot of the order. It's nice to see when a guy can come in off the bench and succeed. The guys were real thrilled for him and he just drilled that ball."
Following the 13-run inning that saw WHS bring 18 batters to plate, MHS answered by bringing 11 batters to the dish and scoring seven runs as Peterson, Buysse, Riley Roth and Johnson all produced RBI singles in the frame.
"It's not very often in baseball where you have a 13-run inning and still lose," Sauerbrei said. "That's just kind of the way the game went. But coming back from that big of a deficit just tells you a little bit about our guys and their toughness."
Peterson finished 4-for-5 with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs to lead the Tigers, who pounded out 20 hits. Mathiowetz (two doubles) and Zerr each collected three RBIs on respective 3-for-4s, while Roth was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI and Buysse was 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs.
"I just have to compliment Marshall's hitting," Sauerbrei added. "They had a lot of good at-bats and they flat-out destroyed the baseball (Tuesday)."
Hatterman was 4-for-6 with a double, a homer and an RBI to lead the Trojans, while Lee and Soderholm each went 3-for-6 with two RBIs each and Rogers was 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs. Ray, Hagen and Sorensen collected the other WHS hits.
The Trojans, who dropped to 5-3 overall and to 4-1 in the SWC, return to action today with a 4:00 p.m. game with Luverne at the Minnesota West Field.
R H E
MHS 202 344 7 -- 22 20 7
WHS 000 02(13) 1 -- 16 15 3