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Prep baseball: Trojans beat JCC

Worthington High School catcher Eli Gaul prepares to take a throw as Jackson County Central's Chris Gumto attempts to slide around to score in Thursday's high school baseball game in Worthington. Gumto was safe, but Worthington won the game, 11-7. ( Aaron Hagen / Daily Globe)

AARON HAGEN

Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Tanner Nordseth said this is how he wanted his final home game to go.

A senior on Worthington’s baseball team, Nordseth and the Trojans earned an 11-7 victory over Jackson County Central in the final home game of the season on Thursday.

“It’s bittersweet. It’s a good way to go out. There are a lot of great memories over the years playing with these guys. I’ll miss the competition for sure, but this is how you want to go out,” said Nordseth, who finished with two hits and two RBIs. “Going into playoffs, this is good momentum to ride now. Hopefully we can do some damage in sections. It’s all about how you finish, I think we’re peaking at the right time and we have a lot of confidence going forward.”

The Trojans (14-6) were coming off a loss at Windom Area, but have won six of their last eight games to finish the regular season.

“We’re feeling good,” Nordseth said. “It’s all tough teams once you get into playoffs. There aren’t going to be any gimmie games, but if we play like we did today, we’ll be fine. We’re confident we can do some damage. We can play with anybody right now and if we play the way we did tonight, we’ll be just fine.”

JCC (13-3) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning as Chris Gumto and Darrius Johnson each drove in a run. Johnson scored as Keegan Klontz was caught in a rundown.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

“You never want to get down early, but we knew that if we got the bats going, we’d be just fine,” Nordseth said. “That’s what we did and we went to work. We put up 11 runs. We kept chipping away and it worked out for us.”

WHS answered with three runs in the first as Easton Sauerbrei had a key RBI single.

“We got in a huddle and told them to relax, we’re a good hitting team, we can come back and get hits, just take it one at a time,” Sauerbrei said. “But that inning, we got all three back right away and it was back 0-0. I thought as a team, we had the best hitting game of the season, maybe even our careers. We were going crazy out there. We had how many doubles, I can’t even count on one hand how many.”

JCC added a run in the third as Gumto scored after Johnson was caught in a rundown. WHS answered with a five-run third, highlighted by a two-run single from Nordseth and an RBI sacrifice fly by Shawn Hurley.  

“It’s all about staying calm and relaxed,” Sauerbrei said. “Against Windom, we just got a little ahead of ourselves and thought it would be an easy win, so we didn’t show up. We wanted this one. We wanted to win bad because we’ve always had a rivalry with Jackson.”

Zach Bargfrede led off JCC’s fourth inning with a single and Nathen Lewis drew a walk. Bargfrede scored on a wild pitch and Lewis was plated as Ryan Christopher hit a two-run home run as JCC was within a run, 8-7.

“We played alright, we just made some base running mistakes and gave ourselves less than the number of outs we should have had,” JCC head coach Mike Wierson said. “We had a couple tough rollers, the ground was a little tough, and a tough hop in the outfield that gave them a                                                                                                                                                                                             couple extra runs, which was all they needed today. Not our best by any means, but we played well.”

Tyler Linder drove in Eli Gaul in the fourth and the Trojans added two more in the sixth as Linder and Logan Huisman scored.  That was enough for Tucker Sorenson, who threw three innings and did not allow a run in relief to seal the victory.

“It means the world to us,” Sauerbrei said of the win. “It makes us feel really good going into playoffs. Our last memory on this field as a Trojan is a good one.”

Jackson County Central 301 300 0 -- 7 11 6Worthington 305 102 x -- 11 12 1
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