LEGION BASEBALL: Worthington Legion rolls FuldaWORTHINGTON — It is not every day that a baseball player gets the chance to play four different positions in one game. But Friday night, Worthington Legion’s Eric Koob got just that opportunity against a very young Fulda team.
By: Jordan Willi, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — It is not every day that a baseball player gets the chance to play four different positions in one game. But Friday night, Worthington Legion’s Eric Koob got just that opportunity against a very young Fulda team.
“Everybody wanted to play everywhere tonight,” Worthington coach Todd Rogers said. “We really mixed things up tonight a little bit. Before the game, (Fulda’s) coach called saying they were going to be bringing a lot of young guys, so we decided to change things up and try something new.”
The game was over almost before it started with Worthington dropping nine runs in the bottom of the first inning to jump out to a huge lead.
After getting out of the first inning with three groundouts from starting pitcher Deron Soderholm, Worthington came out swinging with A.J. Hayenga laying down a bunt single.
A wild pitch advanced Hayenga to second before Tyler Verdoorn hit a single to put runners on first and third. But an error at third scored Hayenga and moved Verdoorn to second.
One batter later, Tommy Hayenga smacked an RBI double to the outfield to score Verdoorn from second. This put Worthington up 2-0 with no outs and brought the middle of the lineup to the plate.
“We did hit the ball well tonight,” Rogers said. “We had a lot of solid singles, doubles, probably even some triples. We did hit the ball well.”
After a walk to Tyler Hatterman, Turner Hagen smashed a two-RBI double to the outfield to put Worthington up 4-0 with no outs. Fulda finally recorded their first out on a groundout to first base, but would give up a sacrifice fly RBI to Soderholm on the next at bat.
Worthington continued to roll by stringing together a slew of hits, including a double by Nate Jensen, and a RBI single by Eric Koob. A fielding error would put runners on first and third for Verdoorn, who made the most of his opportunity and hit a two-out, two-RBI triple to the outfield.
Fulda finally got out of the frame on a groundout to first, but not before Worthington would score another run on an error to put them up 9-0.
“It felt good, I mean any time you can get a hit that is a good thing,” Koob said. “I felt like I put a solid bat on the ball tonight.”
The top of the second saw Koob getting his chance to pitch and he did not disappoint. After giving up a walk to the first batter he saw, Koob struck out the second batter he faced and then got the next Fulda hitter to ground into a double play.
“I haven’t pitched since freshman year, so that was kind of nice to get back on the mound in a none-pressure situation,” Koob said. “I used to play short in like middle school or younger too.”
The bottom of the second saw much of the same dominance Worthington showed in the first. Fulda inserted Cole Dierks to replace starter Austin Clarke after Clarke gave up five hits to six batters including two doubles and three singles to put Worthington up 12-0.
However, the pitching change made little difference with Worthington coming out and getting another two RBI single off the bat of Hatterman.
“I think it is good to have a confidence booster like this going into our Alexandria tournament next weekend,” Koob said. “Kids played different positions and got some pitching in tonight, which was good.”
The top of the third saw another pitching change for Worthington, this time letting Hayenga take his chance on the mound.
After a one-two-three third, Worthington went back on the offensive, hitting five consecutive singles, two of which were for RBIs. Another fielding error allowed one more Worthington run to score before Fulda’s Dierks could record the final out on a pop fly to the outfield.
Once again, Worthington used a different pitcher in the top of the fourth, giving the ball to Hagen. Hagen would give Worthington their third consecutive one-two-three inning of the game, keeping Fulda off the board for another inning.
“We told them they played well defensively tonight,” Rogers said. “Some guys haven’t pitched for a long time, so we got them out there tonight to get them some practice.”
The bottom of fourth saw Worthington putting together another string of hits on Fulda’s second relief pitcher Mitch Baumhoefner. After giving up two singles and a walk to the first three batters, Baumhoefner would hit Jensen in the back, scoring a run from third on the base awarded to Jensen.
Baumhoefner would settle down after that, getting the next three Worthington batters to either strikeout or flyout to the outfield.
The top of the fifth would see yet another pitching change from Worthington’s rotation. This time it was Hatterman getting his time with the ball.
After getting the first two batters on a groundout and a strikeout, respectively, Hatterman would struggle to record the final out, hitting a batter and walking the next. But Hatterman regained his focus and got the next Fulda batter to groundout to first base giving Worthington the 18-0 win and boosting their record to 12-3.
Worthington is off until Friday, when they play South St. Paul at 2:30 p.m. in a tournament in Alexandria.
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FULDA 000 00 — 0 1 4
WGTN 953 1X — 18 15 0
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jordan Willi may be reached at 376-7335.
Okabena 5, Edgerton 1
HERON LAKE — Okabena Legion rolled to a 5-1 win over Edgerton Friday night in Heron Lake.
Alex Meyer pitched a complete game for Okabena, allowing only three hits, and one earned run, while fanning seven batters. Justin Jass and Kyle Elder both knocked in two RBIs, while Luke Henkels went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Edgerton was held scoreless until the top of the sixth, when Damon Vander Veen grounded out to score the only run for Edgerton Legion. Dominic Nibbelink, Adam LaFollette and Travis Preson all had hits for Edgerton in the loss.
Okabena Legion will face Fulda on Monday night in Okabena.
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Edgerton 000 001 0 — 1 3 1
Okabena 003 011 X — 5 5 2