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Legion baseball: Worthington season comes to an end on walk-off

ZACH HACKER/DAILY GLOBE Worthington second baseman Tristan Sorenson puts a tag on Sam Horner of Woodbury on a stolen base attempt Tuesday during Post 5’s 6-5 loss in the Division I, District II Tournament in Sleepy Eye.

SLEEPY EYE — The Worthington American Legion Post 5 baseball team saw its season come to an end in shocking fashion Tuesday.

Ninth-seeded Post 5 held a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth after coming from behind. But a two-run double and a one-out single was all No. 8 Woodbury needed for a 6-5 walk-off win in the Division I, District II play-in game.

“We knew we couldn’t relay on only four runs the way our season has gone,” Worthington coach Jeff Nelson said, referring to his team’s four-run outburst in the seventh. “Our bats just got quiet in the last couple innings. That’s sort of the story of our season.”

Two walks to open the inning gave Woodbury new life in the ninth before a no-out double scored both of them and tied it up. Worthington managed one out, but a single to right ended it.

“Before the tournament I thought there were a lot of evenly matched teams,” Nelson said. “I think we’ll see a lot of close games. The way Woodbury played tonight, I think they’ll have a shot at New Ulm (Gold) on Thursday.”

Worthington had left the bases loaded twice earlier in the game, but it finally came through with a rally. Trailing 1-0 going into the top of the seventh, Alex Purdy was hit by a pitch for the third time in the contest to lead off the inning. After he moved up to second on a wild pitch, Post 5 had runners at the corners with nobody out when Tyler Hatterman laced his second hit of the night. A Blake Rogers walk one batter later loaded the bases.

Purdy raced home for his team’s first run of the night on a wild pitch to tie things up. Hatterman scored on a Ryan Lee single and suddenly Post 5 was on top. Rogers added some insurance when he scored on an error before Lee crossed for the final run of the inning on an infield hit by Jordan Bertrand. They added one more in the eighth on a Lee single that scored Hatterman.

“We hit the ball great and we defended great,” Nelson said. “We had a good lead but we let it fall through. Both myself and Todd (Rogers) screwed up with guys on the bases in that big inning and we probably could have scored a couple more runs. We just couldn’t see it through.”

Woodbury made things interesting with two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but Tristan Sorenson came in to get his team out of the inning without further damage.

Woodbury broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth as a result of two Post 5 miscues. After a leadoff walk, an overthrow on a pickoff attempt allowed the runner to move into scoring position. With two outs, an errant throw to first allowed him to circle around and score.

Hits came at a premium through the early innings with Worthington’s Lee and Sam Horner of Woodbury allowing just one and two hits, respectively, through three. Still, both teams had their chances. Despite a few high-pressure situations, it was scoreless into the fifth.

Rogers took the tough loss for Worthington, allowing one run on two hits in one-third of an inning. Ray had a no-decision in relief. He went four and two-thirds and allowed three runs – two earned – on four hits while striking out three. Despite six scoreless innings, Horner took a no-decision for Woodbury.

Hatterman was 3-for-5 with two runs scored to lead the way at the plate. Lee went 2-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs.

Worthington’s season ended at 6-11 overall.

“We just have to work on closing things out for next year,” Nelson said.


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Zach Hacker

Zach is the Daily Globe sports reporter. He has previously been a sports editor at both the Waseca County News in Waseca, Minn., and The Emporia Gazette in Emporia, Kansas. He is originally from New Richland, Minn., and now lives in Worthington with his dog; a beagle-corgi mix named Homer. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, pontooning on St. Olaf Lake and watching professional and collegiate sports.

(507) 376-7335