VFW BASEBALL: Worthington shuts out Tracy at home, 12-0WORTHINGTON — Blake Rogers thought the ball bounced over the left-field fence and he was stuck on second with a ground-rule double.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — Blake Rogers thought the ball bounced over the left-field fence and he was stuck on second with a ground-rule double.
He thought wrong — the ball cleared on the fly.
Rogers hit a two-run home run, Jon Reller threw a five-inning shutout and the Worthington VFW baseball team defeated Tracy 12-0 Wednesday night.
“We hit the ball pretty well,” Rogers said. “We came out a little slow, but after we got used to it for the second time, we hit it pretty hard.
“One guy starts it and then we all get going and start hitting the ball really well.”
Against Tracy, that spark was Rogers.
With the game scoreless in the third, AJ Hayenga drew a walk and advanced on a bunt by Tom Hayenga.
Rogers then hit the shot to left, giving Post 3958 a 2-0 lead.
“It felt really good off the bat,” Rogers said. “I thought it was a ground rule double at first. The kid put his hands up, so I thought it bounced over. I guess it didn’t.
“I thought it was a line drive. But I guess it had enough height.”
Lucas Henning followed with a deep triple and Reller hit an RBI double as Worthington jumped out to a 3-0 advantage.
“We hit the ball well and hard and into deep parts of the park,” Worthington coach T.D. Hostikka said. “Blake got his first home run and that was a shot.
“Then Lucas follows up with two shots in the deepest part of the park and if he would have put them in any other spot, he has two of them out.”
That would be all the run support Reller would need.
“I pitched all right,” he said. “I could have pitched better though and threw some more strikes. I walked a few guys that I shouldn’t have walked.”
In the fourth inning, Worthington broke the game open.
AJ Hayenga started things with an RBI single, Rogers followed with a run-scoring double, Henning hit a two-run triple and Deron Soderholm drove in a run with a hit as Worthington scored nine runs in the inning.
Last season, Reller threw in an 11-9 loss to Tracy.
“It was a redemption game, last year he got beat by these guys,” Hostikka said. “(Wednesday) he came out and threw strikes and that’s a key. When our pitchers through strikes, we’re OK.”
Reller did run into a walk in the second, but pitched around it with a strikeout.
He gave up two hits in the third inning, but those were the only hits of the game for Tracy.
A pair of Tracy batters walked in the fourth, but Reller struck out the next two batters to keep the scoreboard showing a goose egg.
“He battled back,” Hostikka said. “I went out to him and I said, ‘You’re pitching this whole game, so you have to figure this out right now.’ So he strikes out the next batter, we throw the guy out at third base on a called play and we do what we need to do.”
Reller allowed no runs on two hits while walking three and striking out 10 in five innings.
“The curveball was really working,” he said. “The seven through nine hitters couldn’t touch the fastball.”
Post 3958 (8-5) hosts Marshall tonight.
R H E
Tracy 000 00 — 0 2 5
Worth. 003 9X — 12 8 0