Amateur baseball: Cubs overcome Lakers in see-saw battle
WORTHINGTON -- Tommy Hayenga found just the right spot Wednesday night. Worthington was tied with Heron Lake 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth when its left fielder stepped to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners. He pounded a grounder...
WORTHINGTON - Tommy Hayenga found just the right spot Wednesday night.
Worthington was tied with Heron Lake 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth when its left fielder stepped to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners. He pounded a grounder to the left side of the infield that Lakers’ shortstop Joey Kinley ranged hard to his right to get to. He got a glove on it, but had no play. Josh Wasmund easily scored from third to give the Cubs an 8-7 walk-off victory.
“I was just hoping Joey wouldn’t make the play,” Wasmund said. “He’s got a lot of skill. Fortunately it got through - or at least through enough that I could score.”
It ended a back-and-forth contest in which both teams led by at least two. Worthington went up by as many as three at 7-4 going into the seventh inning. That lead eventually disappeared.
“We didn’t give up,” Wasmund said. “We had to scrape and claw but we got it done.”
Heron Lake ripped three extra-base hits to put two runs across in the top of the second for the first lead.
Octavio Jimenez slammed a double to left-center to open the inning and, after two Adam Munkel strikeouts, Lon Eichenberger laced a triple down the right field line. An Aaron Fest two-bagger sent him home to give the Lakers a 2-0 lead.
The Cubs needed just one mighty swing of the bat to erase the deficit. With Joe Joswiak and Hayenga on base, Ryan Swanson unloaded on a no-doubter. His two-out, three-run homer shifted the advantage to the home team at 3-2.
That too was short-lived. Basehits by Alex Meyer and Jimenez helped the Lakers reclaim the lead with two runs in the third. Back-to-back two-hit hits by Joswiak and Nate Jensen evened it back up at 4-4 after three.
Eric Koob scored early in the fourth to give the lead back to the Cubbies. Wasmund extended that to two runs with an RBI double. With that, Worthington was up 6-4 going into the fifth.
After the early hit parade, things settled down through the middle innings. The Cubs added one more in the sixth when Swanson moved to within a triple of the cycle. He doubled before his pinch runner, Mic Holinka, scored to make it 7-4.
“I don’t know if Swanny’s got a triple in his repertoire,” Wasmund said. “But once he starts hitting the ball, you never know. He was really hitting the ball well tonight. It’s been an up-and-down year for him but he’s a good hitter, so hopefully tonight will get him going.”
Heron Lake cut its deficit to 7-6 thanks in large part to an Ike Rogers double in the seventh. Two walks and two critical errors allowed Tylor Duerksen to score the tying run in the eighth. The Lakers threatened to reclaim the lead, but Tristan Sorenson came on in relief for Worthington to get out of the inning.
Sorenson earned the win, going 1 2/3 and allowing no runs on no hits while fanning one. Munkel went seven strong innings but didn’t get a decision. He allowed six runs - four earned - on seven hits while striking out and walking four. Austin Watkins took the loss in 3 1/3 innings of relief work. He gave up one run on four hits and fanned three. Meyer gave up three earned on 10 hits in five innings to also get a no-decision in the start.
Swanson went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, three RBIs and a run scored. Joswiak was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs with Jensen going 3-for-5 and driving in a run. AJ Hayenga and Koob added two hits each. Jimenez paced the Lakers by going 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
Worthington will be at home again on Sunday for a 7:30 p.m. contest against Jackson. The Cubs won the first contest between the two 8-5 on June 17.The Lakers host Lakefield at 2 p.m. Sunday.
“We expect them to bring their ‘A’ game,” Wasmund said of the Bulls. “I’m sure they want to get back at us.”
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