Worthington splits with Sioux Falls EastWORTHINGTON — The momentum of Monday night’s game quickly wore off for the Worthington VFW baseball team. Post 3958 scored 11 runs in the first three innings Tuesday night against Sioux Falls East and held on to an 11-6 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The momentum of Monday night’s game quickly wore off for the Worthington VFW baseball team.
Post 3958 scored 11 runs in the first three innings Tuesday night against Sioux Falls East and held on to an 11-6 victory in the first game of a doubleheader.
“We came out hitting,” Worthington head coach Ryan Weber said. “We hit the ball well against Fulda, and our lineup is tough one through nine. Everybody can put the ball in play; it’s just a matter of everybody getting hot at one time. I’m happy to see them swinging the bat and being aggressive.”
Worthington had 13 hits in the first game and scored four runs in each the first and second innings and plated another three runs in the third. However, that would be all the runs Post 3958 would get in the game.
“I guess we didn’t really want to beat them that much,” Worthington’s Justin Larson said. “We wanted to give them a chance.”
With Worthington leading 11-1 heading into what could have been the final inning, Sioux Falls East scored two runs in the fifth to extend the game.
In the sixth, Jordan Schievelbein came up with the bases loaded and hit a bases-clearing double to bring Sioux Falls within five runs and chase starter Mitchell Jensen.
“When you get up 11-1, kids’ minds go different places, but that’s just part of the game and part of being a teenager,” Weber said. “The good thing is that they battled back when they came back to 11-6. We have to learn how to put teams away.”
Adam Munkel came in and recorded the last four outs of the game and had two strikeouts to seal the victory.
Jensen earned the victory on the hill, allowing seven hits and five earned runs in five and a third innings.
However, Jensen had help defensively.
Playing in left field, Larson had two diving catches, one in the third inning for the first out, and a run-saving catch in the sixth to end the Sioux Falls rally.
“I just hustle a lot and hope for the best,” Larson said. “The sun was kind of getting in my eyes, so I could keep my eyes open and miss them or close them and get it.”
Offensively, Worthington got things started right away in the bottom of the first.
Jensen and Octavio Jiminez each singled to start the inning, and Kirk McBreen hit a long sacrifice fly to score Jensen and give Worthington a 1-0 lead.
Steven Kremer came up with a single to score Jiminez, and Cody Melendrez would score on a Stuart Rogers walk to push the lead to 3-0.
Munkel also scored in the inning as Post 3958 had a 4-0 lead.
After all nine batters stepped into the box in the first inning, eight went to the plate in the second.
With Sioux Falls scoring a run in the top of the inning, Jensen walked to lead off the inning, and Jiminez singled. McBreen then walked to load the bases for Kremer.
Kremer hit a ground ball that appeared to be a double play, but the fielder missed second base, and Kremer beat the throw as a run scored without getting an out.
With the bases still full of Worthington runners, Munkel put down a squeeze bunt to plate Jiminez and give Post 3958 a 6-1 lead.
“I like bunting when I get it down,” Munkel said. “I just concentrated and told myself that I could hit it.”
Larson completed the inning with a two-run double to push the advantage to 8-1 after two innings.
Worthington added three more runs in the third inning as Jensen singled and McBreen doubled to score him from second.
McBreen scored on a Kremer base hit, and another run scored on Munkel’s single to push the lead to 11-1 heading into the top of the fifth.
However, Sioux Falls would not be 10-runned as they rallied with two runs in the fifth but were held to three in the sixth thanks to a diving catch from Larson.
“He’s played great out there all year,” Weber said. “He sees the ball well and gets good reads, and he’s coming up with them every time. I’ll keep having those as long as he gets them in the glove.”
R H E
SFE 010 023 0 — 6 7 1
Wgtn 443 000 X — 11 13 1
SFE 13, Worthington 3
In the second game of the doubleheader, Worthington had an early lead, but saw it disappear quickly in a six-inning loss.
Munkel suffered the loss, allowing six runs on four hits while striking out two and walking six in four innings.
Derek Lee threw the final two innings and allowed four earned runs on nine hits.
Jensen had two singles and scored a run, while Kremer, Cody Melendrez and Munkel had back-to-back-to-back singles in the third inning.
Worthington (20-4-1) will travel to Marshall Thursday for a doubleheader with Marshall Orange and Marshall Blue.
R H E
SFE 030 145 — 13 13 2
Wgtn 111 000 — 3 5 5