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Adrian gets jump on Heron Lake in amateur playoff opener

Adrian vs Heron Lake S2.jpg
Heron Lake's Eli Becker (15) slides back into first base as first base coach Jonathan Vega delivers a warning Wednesday night in amateur baseball playoff action. Adrian first baseman Jordan Bertrand catches the pickoff attempt from pitcher Tucker Sorenson. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

ADRIAN -- The Adrian A’s bats were fairly silent for five innings as Heron Lake moved to a 3-1 lead Wednesday night in the first game of a best-of-three amateur baseball league series in Adrian.

Starting pitcher Tucker Sorenson was concerned.

“Yeah. I’m not gonna lie. I was a little stressed,” he said after the game.

Eventually, Adrian scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and added four more in the seventh and, suddenly, the A’s led 8-3. The final score was 8-6.

Sorenson, who surrendered five hits and four runs in six innings of work, was the winning pitcher. He also helped himself in the seventh with a three-run home run over the right-centerfield fence that made the score 7-3. The homer, off Heron Lake starter Justin Jass, had a high loft to it, as if it was deposited there by a 9-iron.

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In fact, Sorenson borrowed the bat of a teammate, Ian Stamer, to dispense the three-run clout, because in his third at-bat on Wednesday he cracked his own bat. It was the first time, he said, that he used a bat other than his own.

“Funny thing is the majority of the (home runs) I hit are like that. They’re just high, like I’m swinging in an elevator shaft,” he said.

The game was not particularly well-played defensively. There were six errors in the contest -- six by Heron Lake -- and outfielders were affected just as much as were the infielders. Besides that, a fourth-inning run-scoring opportunity for the A’s was squelched due to a base running error.

Sorenson, a Worthington High School and Minnesota West baseball standout who played in Canada last summer, hinted that his team was fortunate to win.

“We gotta play better than we’ve been playing,” he said. “We had a lot of errors, a lot of mental errors. We gotta swing the bats.”

Adrian scored the first run in the bottom of the first inning when Stamer laid down a perfect bunt, stole second base and later scored on a Brent Hokeness line drive single. Heron Lake scored three in the third on a bases-loaded walk, a misplay of a fly ball to short center field, and a Keegan Klontz sacrifice fly.

The A’s finally broke free in the sixth as Hokeness and Jacob Barker hit key singles and the Lakers were charged with a throwing error on a would-be double play ball.

Down by five runs after seven, Heron Lake fought back with two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth off relief pitchers Michael Iverson and Barker. David Volk hit a one-out two-run double in the eighth and Erik Jass hit a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

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“We scratched one out,” said Adrian player-manager Mike Preuss, who said Sorenson’s home run “sparked” the victory.

R H E

Heron Lake 003 000 021 -- 6 8 6

Adrian 100 003 40x -- 8 8 3

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