AMATEUR BASEBALL: Wilmont tops Worthington 7-2
WORTHINGTON -- Steven Kremer blasted a three-run homer and Justin Saufley K'ed 11 in a complete-game effort to lead the Wilmont Cardinals to a 7-2 victory over the Worthington Cubs Sunday night in an amateur baseball game.
The First Nite/Gopher league rivals squared off at the Worthington Middle School field - a field that Saufley pitched many innings on during his days at Worthington High School.
"I was pumped up to play here again," Saufley said. "I felt good out there. It's been awhile since I've pitched on this field and it was a big game. The guys on both teams know each other quite well.
"A lot of us have played baseball with one another at some point. It's good for baseball in the area to have a team in Worthington again."
Saufley, who hit a double and was 3-for-4 with an RBI to help his cause, allowed two earned runs on 11 hits and one walk.
"Justin did a good job out there," Cardinal catcher Kremer said. "Right away, we weren't on the same page, but then he started throwing the pitches I put down. He was commanding every pitch well. Every time he's out there, he gives us a good chance to win."
Kremer (2-for-4 with three RBIs) was also excited to play against former teammates and friends, especially Worthington starting pitcher Mitchell Jensen.
"I've played with Mitchell Jensen since we were 10 years old," the Wilmont backstop said. "It was the first time I got to play against him and that was fun. That's why we play amateur baseball -- to play against friends."
The Cubs threatened with runners on board in nearly every inning, but the Wilmont ace allowed nothing until the eighth.
"That's what good pitchers do," Cubs manager Josh Wasmund said. "We had runners on base in just about every inning, but just couldn't get that one big hit early on."
Following Kremer's 339-foot round tripper in the top of the eighth that put the visitors ahead 7-0, the Cubs ended the shutout in the home half when Joe Joswiak (2-for-4 with two RBIs) lifted a two-run double to right, scoring Marcus Maras (running for Wasmund) and Mitch Jensen (2-for-3 with a stolen base).
Jensen took the loss for Worthington, going the distance and striking out five. The right hander allowed seven earned runs on five walks and 14 hits.
"We played a lot better defense than in our previous game with Wilmont (10-0 loss at Butts-Probst Field May 25)," Wasmund said. "The runs they got were when they hit the ball. We didn't give them any extra runs and Jensen gave us a chance to win."
The Cardinals opened the scoring early when Saufley plated Lucas Henning (1-for-3) with a single in the first, followed by Jay Scheidt (2-for-5 with two RBIs) extending the lead to 2-0 in the third with a single to score Brandon Schroeder (3-for-5), who led off the inning with a triple.
Wilmont added two runs in the fourth when Nick Ahrens (1-for-3) and Scheidt both hit RBI singles to plate Stuart Rogers and Jesse Teerink, respectively.
Both pitchers settled in after that to keep the score at 4-0 Cardinals until Kremer's shot reignited the scoring in the eighth.
Facing a 2-0 count with Schroeder and Henning aboard, the left-handed batter drilled Jensen's offering over the right-field fence.
"It felt good," Kremer said. "I was sitting fastball in that count. I was trying to be aggressive and just put the bat out there and it went out."
Wasmund finished 3-for-5 with a double for the Cubs, while Cody Melendrez went 3-for-4 and Jerrad Meinders added a single for the hosts.
Both teams return to action Wednesday night as the Cubs (4-8) host the Windom Pirates in a First Nite League contest at the Middle School field, while the Cardinals (7-2) host the Minneota Mudhens in a Gopher League game at Butts-Probst Field.
Game times Wednesday are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
R H E
Cards 101 200 030 -- 7 14 1
Cubs 000 000 020 -- 2 11 0