Worthington American Legion edges Adrian, 3-2
WORTHINGTON -- Sometimes, a little brotherly competition is a good thing.
Such was the case Tuesday night in Worthington. A night after Joe Ahrens threw a gem for the VFW team; Nick Ahrens one-upped his brother with a two-run complete game victory as Worthington defeated Adrian 3-2.
"(We didn't' talk about it) too much, but I don't like getting shown up by him," Nick Ahrens said.
Nick Ahrens allowed two runs -- only one of which was earned --while scattering seven hits, and walking just one.
"Nick threw really well," Worthington head coach Todd Schroeder said. "He was able to get up a lot and was able to keep the ball low. It seemed like they put a lot of balls in play, but he knew he had a defense behind him tonight, and that helps a lot."
The Worthington defense committed two errors -- one of which led to a run in the second inning -- but made key defensive plays in key situations.
"I felt pretty good," Nick Ahrens said. "I didn't start out as well as I wanted to. I settled down, and the defense started to play real well behind me. Brian Harberts made a few pretty good plays behind me, and the whole defense played great."
The Worthington defense started from the beginning, as right-fielder Josh Koob made a diving catch in the first inning to rob Adrian's Jordan Kontz an extra base hit.
Worthington, now 11-8 overall, scored in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Nate Stoll walked, and stole second. The throw was off the mark and was mishandled in the outfield -- allowing Stoll to score for a 1-0 Worthington lead.
Adrian answered in the second as Brandon Diekmann singled to lead off the inning, later scoring to tie the game at 1-all.
Worthington took the lead again in the third inning. Kyle Vaske hit a double off the left field fence, and Stoll drove him home with an RBI triple. Bryant Schroeder drove home Stoll, giving Worthington a 3-1 lead.
Adrian tried to make a comeback in the sixth. Jordan Kontz started the inning with a double, and Diekmann drove him in, as Adrian pulled within one. However, Diekmann was stranded on second, and Adrian still trailed by a run.
"We didn't hit the ball as well as we normally could," Diekmann said.
Diekmann was the lone Adrian player with more than one hit, as he had two singles to go with his RBI.
Adrian could not push across another run, as Worthington took the 3-2 victory.
"We hit it, but it was right at them," Adrian head coach Greg Kruger said. "They'll be alright. All we need is one hit and to get a lead. If we get a lead Saturday, we'll be okay. Our pitching is holding us in games now."
Matt Gades started on the hill for Adrian and suffered the loss. He allowed two earned runs in three innings. John Archer relieved Gades and allowed no runs in three innings work.
"John came in and threw really well," Kruger said. "He's been coming on the last three or four weeks."
For Adrian, the playoff seedings were already in place, and Diekmann said that could have played a factor for the No. 2 seed.
"The rankings already came out, and we knew that, so we'll be ready this weekend," Diekmann said. "We need to get our heads in the right place and play hard, like we want to win. We need to stay in the box and stroke it to the opposite field."
Adrian, now 16-6 overall, will play again Saturday in Pipestone. Adrian will play the winner of the Luverne and Windom match-up. The first pitch is slated for 12:30 p.m.
"(Today) we didn't come to hit," Kruger said. "Like I told the kids, we need to bring our hitting shoes Saturday."
Schroeder said the Worthington team is playing its best baseball, just in time for the playoffs.
"We got a couple of hits when we needed them, and our defense was real strong," Schroeder said. "We turned a couple double plays tonight, which we don't turn double plays on this team for some reason. They played a really good game."
Nick Ahrens agreed that the playoffs can't come soon enough.
"Our playoffs got pushed back a week, so it would be nice if they started Saturday, but we just have to keep practicing and try to stay as hot as we can," Nick Ahrens said. "We have to try and swing the bats a little better, but everything else is going pretty well right now."
Worthington will find out today its opponent for the playoffs.
R H E
Adrian 010 001 0 -- 2 7 1
Worthington 102 000 x -- 3 6 2