Kruger, Kontz hit home runs to lead Post 32
SLAYTON -- Adrian American Legion baseball coach Greg Kruger said it was the worst thing that could have happened to Slayton: Jordon Kontz got angry. Full of anger and adrenaline after a call that he thought was incorrect, Kontz unleashed a serie...
SLAYTON -- Adrian American Legion baseball coach Greg Kruger said it was the worst thing that could have happened to Slayton:
Jordon Kontz got angry.
Full of anger and adrenaline after a call that he thought was incorrect, Kontz unleashed a series of furious fastballs to record a strikeout and escape a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday to lead Adrian to a 7-4 victory over Slayton.
"He gets that way if he gets mad," Kruger said, referring to Kontz. "It was the worst thing that could have happened to (Slayton).
"The call got us fired up, and that's when we play the best."
The call in question came, ironically, after a meeting at the mound meant to calm down Kontz, who allowed a hit, an inherited run to score -- Slayton's third run of the frame -- and two consecutive walks to load the bases after relieving starter John Archer.
The meeting also was meant to put together a play that would end the inning.
Moments after Kontz toed the rubber he turned and fired to second base in an attempt to pick off Slayton's Travis Delong, who had been getting off to large leads on the previous pitches.
The ball beat Delong to the base, but the throw was high. He was called safe.
Kontz shook his head and muttered to himself -- his anger apparent -- and fired a fastball for the second strike. He shook his head once again before raring back and unleashing a fastball that Slayton's Nate Wieneke swung through to end the inning.
"I thought I had him," Kontz said, referring to the pick-off attempt. "I don't know if I've ever thrown that hard. Probably not."
Still, Slayton had new life. It was back in the game after recording just one hit and trailing 4-0 entering the sixth inning.
But Kontz was still angry.
Jordan Reker led off the top of the seventh inning with a walk, was advanced to second base on Matt Gades' sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI double by Adam Diekmann, who was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Adrian's No. 3 hitter belted the first pitch he saw deep over the left-field fence to give his team a three-run lead.
"I was mad," Kontz said, laughing. "I was just going to hit it as hard as I could."
Adrian wasn't done.
Glen Kruger, a left-handed batter, hit the next pitch over the fence and off the scoreboard in left field, capping Adrian's three-run inning.
Slayton managed to score a run in its final frame against Kontz, who allowed a lead-off triple to Eric Wieneke before giving up an RBI single to Ben Clarke. But Kontz struck out Jase Bly looking on three pitches to end the game.
Kontz went 2-for-4 with a run and three RBIs. He delivered a two-run single in the third inning to drive in Adrian's first runs of the game. Glen Kruger, who went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, followed with a shallow blooper to left field that scored Adrian's third run of the game.
From there, Adrian went down in order in the fourth and fifth innings, and its bats were relatively silent until receiving a wake-up call in the sixth.
"We were into it, then, finally," Greg Kruger said. "Before that, we were just dead.
"That was our wake-up call."
Archer allowed three runs --two earned -- and struck out one over six and two-thirds innings to earn the win. Kontz finished the game and struck out four to earn the save.
Clarke, who went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, struck out three and allowed eight hits over a complete-game loss.
"Ben pitched a great game. He went seven innings, and we were expecting to get four out of him," Slayton coach Scott Bly said. "We were getting back in the hunt, but it didn't work out."
Alex Peterson went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, and Justin Reinsma went 1-for-2 with an RBI to lead Slayton.
R H E
Adrian 003 001 3 -- 7 8 4
Slayton 000 003 1 -- 4 8 2
Luverne 12, Okabena 4
LUVERNE -- With a flurry of hits, the Luverne legion baseball team came away with a victory against Okabena Friday night.
Brent Dinger earned the victory for Luverne, with Tanner Skattum throwing in relief.
Zach Olson, Dinger and Taylor Van Santen all had a home run for Luverne.
William Cranston suffered the loss for Okabena in three innings of work.
He allowed five earned runs on five hits while striking out one.
Ben Scheevel had three hits, including a double and a home run, while driving in two runs for Okabena.
Lon Eichenberger added a triple, while Kirk McBreen had a hit and drove in a run. Cody Ferguson had the other hit for Okabena, which will host Worthington today.
R H E
Okabena 111 100 0 -- 4 6 2
Luv. 223 500 X -- 12 13 0