PREP BASEBALL: MCC beats E/SWC, drops Game 2SLAYTON — Matt Vogel twirled a no-hitter against fifth-seeded Tracy-Milroy-Balaton and then came on in relief to get the final two outs against top-seeded Murray County Central Saturday afternoon, helping the fourth-seeded Springfield Tigers win a pair of games and advance to the double-elimination portion of the Section 3A high school baseball tournament.
By: Lucas Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
SLAYTON — Matt Vogel twirled a no-hitter against fifth-seeded Tracy-Milroy-Balaton and then came on in relief to get the final two outs against top-seeded Murray County Central Saturday afternoon, helping the fourth-seeded Springfield Tigers win a pair of games and advance to the double-elimination portion of the Section 3A high school baseball tournament.
MCC started the day with a 4-1 victory over ninth-seeded Edgerton/Southwest Christian before Springfield earned a 7-0 win over T-M-B behind Vogel’s no-hitter. Springfield then jumped out to a 5-0 lead on MCC and claimed a 6-3 victory to advance to the next round.
Springfield (12-9) will play Lac qui Parle Valley Wednesday in Granite Falls at 7 p.m., while E/SWC, T-M-B and MCC end their seasons with records of 4-11, 11-8 and 12-6, respectively.
Springfield 6, MCC 3
After Springfield’s Isaac Kirschstein and MCC’s Sam Erickson each pitched a scoreless frame in the first, the Tigers went to work with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning.
Vogel led off with a well-placed bunt single down the third-base line and advanced to second when the Rebels committed an error on a fielder’s choice groundball off the bat of Cole Milbrath — giving Springfield a pair of runners with no outs.
Erickson (seven innings, five strikeouts and two walks) fanned the next batter, but another Rebels’ error on a fielder’s choice groundball — this one hit by Cooper Scheffler — allowed Vogel to score the game’s initial run.
Milbrath then scored from third on an RBI bunt single by Tim Krueger, lifting the Tigers to a quick 2-0 lead.
Kirschstein (6 1/3 innings, two strikeouts and two walks) hurled a 1-2-3 bottom half, inducing a trio of groundballs that Springfield fielded cleanly to get back in the dugout and up to the plate in a hurry.
Jacob Menage was hit by a pitch and went from first to third on a single to left-center by Alex Fink to begin the top of the third. But Menage was tagged out at home on a double-steal attempt, as Fink went to second.
After Vogel was intentionally walked, Erickson got the next batter to pop up for the second out. However, two more Rebels’ errors ensued — allowing Fink and Vogel to score and extend the Tigers’ lead to 4-0.
Carter Erickson, who reached on the first defensive miscue of the inning, then scored from second on an RBI single to left field by Krueger (3-for-3) to make it 5-0.
“We put the ball in play and good things happened for us,” Springfield head coach Brady Schwab said. “It was big to take a five-run lead like that against a good team like MCC.”
The Rebels, though, countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. A two-out infield single by Seth Bass (2-for-3) was followed by an RBI double down the right-field line from Nate Wieneke, trimming the gap to 5-1.
Austin Kluis then made it 5-2 when he smacked an RBI single into right field, giving MCC something to build on.
Springfield went up 6-2 in the fourth, as Menage (2-for-3) slugged a one-out double to right-center and scored on an RBI single to right by Vogel.
Kirschstein then worked three straight scoreless innings (fourth, fifth and sixth) to keep the margin at four runs, only issuing two walks and hitting a batter in that span.
MCC did mount a potential rally in the bottom of the seventh, getting singles from Austin Christensen and Bass. Vogel then came on in relief and was greeted by a single from Wieneke to load the bases with one out.
An RBI groundout off the bat of Kluis plated Christensen to make it 6-3 before Vogel struck out the next batter to end the game.
“This was a tough way to end the season,” MCC head coach Tarry Boelter said. “We didn’t make the plays in the field like we normally do and we didn’t hit the ball well enough. Give Springfield credit, as they were the better team today.”
R H E
Spring. 023 100 0 — 6 9 1
MCC 002 000 1 — 3 7 4
Springfield 7, T-M-B 0
Vogel’s pitching and the Tigers’ defense was the story of this game, as Springfield knocked off T-M-B.
Vogel struck out seven batters and issued four free passes (three walks, one hit by pitch) in his no-hit performance on the mound. Springfield played error-free baseball behind him, with Fink leading the way from his shortstop position.
“Matt pitched very well,” Schwab said. “We made the plays behind him and picked up a nice win over a good team.”
The Tigers scored five runs in the third and two more in the fourth. A three-run triple by Scheffler highlighted the third, while Menage (triple) and Fink (single) also drove in runs in that frame to put Springfield up 5-0.
Fink (2-for-4) drove in another run in the fourth, as the Tigers went up 7-0 and were in control.
Jordan Lanoue (first), Taylor Hoffbeck (third) and Parker Lanoue (sixth) each drew a walk for T-M-B, while Cory Apperson was hit by a pitch. JC DeWitte reached on a fielder’s choice to end the top of the first to account for the Panthers’ only other base runner.
Hoffbeck (3 1/3 innings, four strikeouts, three walks) and Reed Salmon (2 2/3 innings, four strikeouts, two walks) did the pitching for the Panthers.
R H E
T-M-B 000 000 0 — 0 0 4
Spring. 005 200 X — 7 6 0
MCC 4, E/SWC 1
E/SWC outhit MCC 7-2, but the Rebels took advantage of walks and wild pitches to survive against the Flying Dutchmen.
MCC’s Christensen earned the win in a complete-game effort on the mound, striking out eight batters and allowing just one run on seven hits and one walk.
Gabe Vander Veen started on the mound for E/SWC and worked a clean bottom of the first, but began the second by issuing three straight walks. Mitch Reinsma and Nick Petersen both scored on wild pitches later in the inning to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead.
Luke Nibbelink, a freshman left-hander, came on after the third walk and pitched five quality innings the rest of the way for the Dutchmen — allowing just two runs on two hits and three walks while fanning four batters.
E/SWC had taken an early lead with a run in the top of the first, as Dominic Nibbelink led off with a single. Back-to-back one-out singles by Damon Vander Maten and Blake Jouwstra (RBI) followed, as the Dutchmen were up 1-0.
Devin Jouwstra (second), Nate Pfeifle (fifth and seventh) and Vander Maten (fifth) collected additional singles later in the game, but E/SWC was unable to score any more runs. Christensen worked his way out of any potential threat that the Dutchmen put together.
MCC added runs in the third and fifth to go up 4-1. Kluis walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Halbur in the third, while Bass tripled and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.
R H E
E/SWC 100 000 0 — 1 7 1
MCC 021 010 X — 4 2 1