Amateur baseball: Braaksma's walk-off propels Cubs
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Cubs waited until the last minute, but in the bottom of the final inning of a one-run amateur baseball game, they finally strung some hits together and their second win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Martin C...
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Cubs waited until the last minute, but in the bottom of the final inning of a one-run amateur baseball game, they finally strung some hits together and their second win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Martin County on Sunday in Worthington.
A lights-out performance by Lucas Henning kept the Cubs in the game headed into the seventh inning, and the squad’s bats delivered. Nathan Russell drove in Logan Thuringer -- pinch-running for Nate Jensen, who led off the inning with a walk -- to tie the game at 2. Then, after King Blanchette walked to load the bases, Nathan Braaksma smashed the ball over the center fielder’s head to drive in the Torey Rogers -- pinch-running for Ryan Swanson who had doubled -- to plate the game-winning run.
“We were in a big hole and we’ve been losing a ton of games,” said Braaksma, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI. “It feels good to actually get another win. This gets us back on the winning track again. It feels good.”
Henning was almost unhittable for Worthington as he struck out 13 batters across seven innings, while allowing one run on four hits and walking two. Seven of the nine outs in the third-through-fifth innings were strikeouts, including five straight strikeouts in the fourth and fifth innings.
“We were throwing a lot of fastballs today,” Henning said. “Me and Ryan (Lee) -- the catcher -- were on the same page a lot today. Fastball and then the curveball today. We were just on. Threw a lot of strikes and got a lot of outs.”
It was just more of the same from Henning who seems to put Worthington in position to compete in every game he pitches in.
“You kinda get used to expecting it from him,” Cubs player/manager Josh Wasmund said. “t’s hard on him, but it seems like every time he steps on the hill, we have a chance to win a game.”
Henning said he hopes the late-inning victory will give the Cubs a morale boost, after they have struggled so far this season.
“We’ve lost so many one-run games this year, to get over the hump of winning one is huge,” he said. “Getting that winning feeling is a nice thing. So hopefully we can take this feeling from this game and carry it forward.”
Martin County scored in the third inning as Alex Biehn singled in Ethan Hurn. Hurn walked and stole second to get into scoring position. Biehn was 2-for-3 with the RBI in the game. He also singled in the first.
Worthington had an opportunity to tie the game in the sixth inning as Tucker Sorenson led off the inning with a double to right, but the Cubs couldn’t push him in. He was stranded on third as Wasmund struck out and Henning and Lee both grounded out to second.
Worthington will look to carry its momentum down the homestretch and toward the playoffs with six games remaining on the schedule and a game at Lakefield coming up on Wednesday.
“We need to start winning here,” Wasmund said. “We’ve got the playoffs coming up two weeks from Wednesday.”
Martin County 001 000 0 -- 1 4 1
Worthington 000 000 2 -- 2 7 2