Wolverines edge Wildcats, 7-5
HERON LAKE -- Striking for five runs in the third inning and receiving a solid mound outing from Nathan Haseman Tuesday afternoon, the Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin Wolverines baseball team earned a 7-5 victory over Southwestern United.
With the victory the Wolverines improve to 3-9 overall and 2-3 in the Red Rock Conference, while SWU is now 3-6 overall and 3-3 in league play.
"This was a very good win for us," ML/B-O head coach Shawn Naas said following the game. "We hit the ball pretty well, and we made the plays behind Haseman -- who did a good job of throwing strikes."
Haseman earned the victory in 5 2/3 innings of work, as he allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks. He struck out six batters.
Ben Scheevel was tagged with the loss, going three innings and permitting seven hits and six runs (one earned). He didn't walk anyone and fanned three batters.
ML/B-O scored the game's first run in the second inning, as Evan Anderson reached base after a passed ball on strike three and later scored on Jacob Gordon's single up the middle.
SWU came back with a pair of runs in the bottom half to take its only lead (2-1) of the game. Tyler Stenzel's two-run single to left scored Tyler Timko (single) and Josh Olson (walk) to put the Wildcats ahead.
However, the Wolverines used five hits and a Wildcat error in the third inning to break the game open, building a 6-2 lead with five runs.
Kyle Schroeder led off with a sharp double down the left-field line before Matt Strom reached on a bunt single to give the Wolverines runners on the corners. Schroeder scored when Brandon Fast reached on an error, tying the game at 2-all.
After a fielder's choice and a strikeout left runners on first and second with two outs, Zac Clarke (3-for-4, three RBIs) plated two runs with a single to deep center field.
Nate Mathistad followed with a stinging triple down the right-field line before scoring on Gordon's single up the middle, making it 6-2.
Haseman, who had a good curveball working for most of the game, then set the Wildcats down in order in both the third and fourth innings.
ML/B-O added a run in the fifth, as Barrett Herrig opened the inning with a single to left. After a wild pitch moved him to second, Clarke delivered another single to give the Wolverines their final run.
SWU pulled that run back in the bottom of the fifth. Kirk McBreen and Trevor Leopold smacked back-to-back, one-out doubles down the left-field line to make it 7-3. Bill Blumberg followed with a single, but the Wildcats couldn't score another run until the sixth.
Olson started the sixth with a leadoff walk before Lon Eichenberger -- who hurled the final four innings for SWU -- walked with two outs to give the Wildcats a pair of runners.
McBreen then came up big again, smashing the first pitch he saw into center for a two-run double -- pulling the Wildcats within two at 7-5. ML/B-O then brought Herrig into pitch, and after Leopold reached on an error, Blumberg struck out to end the threat.
After Eichenberger and the Wildcats held ML/B-O scoreless in the top of the seventh, SWU had one last chance to tie or win the game.
Herrig induced a groundout and lineout to Schroeder at second base for two quick outs. However, Olson and Tyler Obermoller each drew a walk to bring the winning run to the plate.
Herrig, though, completed the save and secured the Wolverine victory by fanning Stenzel for the third out.
SWU visits Adrian Thursday, while ML/B-O hosts Murray County Central.
R H E
ML/B-O 015 010 0 -- 7 11 2
SWU 020 012 0 -- 5 7 3