Amateur baseball: Saufley leads Wilmont to victory
LISMORE -- Justin Saufley knew what was on the line when he took the mound Friday night. Down 1-0 in a best-of-3 Region 13C series against Fairmont, Wilmont needed a win to keep its season alive. Saufley delivered. "I knew it was do or die," he said.
LISMORE - Justin Saufley knew what was on the line when he took the mound Friday night.
Down 1-0 in a best-of-3 Region 13C series against Fairmont, Wilmont needed a win to keep its season alive. Saufley delivered.
“I knew it was do or die,” he said. “I had to leave everything out there. We have to go back to Fairmont on Sunday, but it’s well worth it.”
The veteran right-hander threw all nine innings for the Cardinals, allowing only one earned run and scattering seven hits while striking out 15. His bats backed him up as Wilmont took a 5-1 victory to tie the series at a game apiece.
“I was able to spot things up with my fastball and hit the corners how I wanted to,” Saufley said. “I really just worked off of my fastball. My curveball was working pretty good, too.”
The Cardinals were one of two teams who forced a decisive third game Friday night. Milroy’s 12-4 win over Jackson put that series at 1-1, meaning Game 3 will be Sunday at The Irish Yard. Top-seeded Luverne clinched its series with a 9-0 win over Lakefield.
In Lismore, the Martins struck first with a run in the second. Christian Petachke singled with two outs to score Levi Becker, who had laced a two-bagger down the line in right to open the inning. Aside from that, Saufley was in command until his bats caught up in the fourth.
“I still felt confident that we’d come back and score,” he said.
Tyler Hatterman drew a one-out walk before Logan Rogers was hit by a pitch. Hatterman circled around to tie it up when Nate Ray roped an opposite-field single to left. Jordan Bertrand followed that with a walk to load the bases and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Jay Scheidt pushed Rogers home. Bertrand raced home on a wild pitch and was safe on a close play, setting the score at 3-1 after four.
Tony Sieve added to that total one inning later. He walloped a two-out pitch deep over the left field fence for a solo home run. In the bottom of the seventh, Blake Rogers reached on an error before singles by Sieve and Hatterman loaded the bases. A Logan Rogers fielder’s choice pushed Blake Rogers home and it was 5-1 going into the eighth.
The Cardinals win came despite missing a few key bats in their lineup. Players like Sieve, Bertrand, Ray and Logan Rogers stepped up to fill the void.
“It was a good, team win like we had last Friday night against the Cubs,” Saufley said. “Some of the guys who typically come off the bench came through big for us. That’s what was particularly fulfilling for me; to see those young guys coming through.”
Sieve finished the game 2-for-3 with a home run, a run scored and an RBI. Scheidt went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Taylor Morris took the loss for the Martins, pitching five innings and allowing four runs on four hits. Joey Fitzgerald - a draftee from Martin County - went the final four and gave up just one unearned run. Jay Ruen was 2-for-4 to lead Fairmont at the plate.
The rubber match will be played at 2 p.m. Sunday in Fairmont. The winner will advance to the second round of the Region 13C tournament while the season will end for the loser.
“It’s gonna take a whole team effort again,” Saufley said. “Everyone’s gotta do their role. And we can’t give them extra outs, because they’re a darn good team.”
R H E
Fairmont 010 000 000 - 1 7 2
Wilmont 000 310 10x - 5 7 1
Milroy 12, Jackson 4
JACKSON - Taking advantage of every opportunity and not needing many hits to score, the Irish put up four runs in the first, five in the second and two in the third to assume an 11-1 lead after three innings. In both the first and second innings, the visitors batted around.
Zach Copley started on the mound for Jackson.
The win evened the series at one game apiece heading into the deciding game on Sunday, 2 p.m. in Milroy.
Jackson outhit Milroy 7-5 through the first four innings.
Caleb Rossow hit an RBI single for the Bulls in the first inning. Teammate Andy Wolf singled a run home in the third.
Luverne 9, Lakefield 0
LAKEFIELD - The home-standing Frogs were unable to score a run. The Redbirds scored plenty.
With the victory, Luverne sweeps the series 2-0. Lakefield ends its season with a 10-13 record.
Luverne won the first game of the series 10-3 in a 16-hit attack.