BASEBALL: Windom wins close game, 1-0
ARLINGTON -- Matt Oye had seen Jared Pick throw before. Many times. But in one of his best career outings, Pick threw a two-hit shutout to lead Windom to a 1-0 victory against the Moorhead Miners in the first round of the Class C state amateur ba...
ARLINGTON -- Matt Oye had seen Jared Pick throw before.
But in one of his best career outings, Pick threw a two-hit shutout to lead Windom to a 1-0 victory against the Moorhead Miners in the first round of the Class C state amateur baseball playoffs Saturday.
"I felt good out there (Saturday)," Pick said. "I had a good long break and just played catch a couple times last week and felt good. I just tried to get ahead of hitters and work both sides of the plate and just try to mix it up with my pitches. The defense played behind me perfect, I just threw it over the plate, they hit it and the defense made the plays."
Pick, who is a 2005 Luverne High School graduate, was drafted by the Pirates after the region tournament was complete.
Oye, who is a 2003 Pipestone Area High School graduate, is the Miners' starting catcher.
"I've seen him a lot, so it was just the same old, but he got the better of me (Saturday)," said Oye, who was 0 for 4 against Pick.
After attending rival high schools, the two spent one season together at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall. Oye, who estimated he saw Pick throw 15 or 20 times before, gave his teammates a scouting report before the game.
"I told them to hit strikes and lay off the high and away fastball," Oye said. "He gets guys to chase it and he works both sides of the plate really well with his tailing fastball."
The advice didn't help.
Pick allowed a mere three runners to reach base, while striking out five.
After recording one out in the top of the first inning, Pick allowed a single to Ryan Krause, who then stole second.
However, the lanky left-hander struck out a batter and got Ryan Fogel to fly out, ending any sort of threat.
Pick set the Miners down in order in the second, but was in a little trouble in the third inning.
After allowing a leadoff single to T.J. Hopkins, Shane Bushland moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt.
However, Oye lined out to Kirby Johnson at first base, who then doubled Hopkins off second for the third out of the ining.
With two outs in the fourth inning, Pick walked Fogel -- his only walk of the game --giving Moorhead another chance. However, A.J. Hadley flew out to end the inning.
After that, the Miners didn't have another runner reach base.
"In the first couple of innings I felt like I didn't have real good control," Pick said. "I was in the strike zone, but not where I wanted the ball to go. After that, I kind of started spotting my fastball. I left it up a few times, and they hit the ball hard, but they made the plays behind me. I felt in a good rhythm. Me and the catcher, Bryce Grove, were in a good groove together and I just felt really good out there. As the game went on, I just kept feeling better and better and better and my arm just felt good, too."
In the same time, Bushland was matching Pick pitch-for-pitch.
He allowed a runner to reach second base in each of the first three innings, but each time, came up with a key out to prevent a run.
"You saw two pitchers there that were very good," Windom manager Jim Johnson said. "The kid that threw for them pitched for North Dakota State and he's had success there. Jared Pick, who we drafted, throws for Southwest State and he's had great success there. We knew going into it we had to get a run and I'm sure they felt the same way."
Bushland allowed a leadoff single to Bryce Grove in the second, and Charlie Dunnick put down a sacrifice bunt to move him to second with one out. Bushland then recorded two straight strikeouts to end the threat.
Again in the third inning, Windom had a runner on second, and again, Bushland recorded a strikeout to preserve the shutout.
After three strikeouts in the fourth, Windom finally broke through in the fifth.
Leading off the inning, Dunnick hit a groundball to the first baseman. His throw to Bushland covering the base was off the mark, allowing Dunnick to reach.
Pick put down a sacrifice bunt to move Dunnick to second, but Bushland recorded a strikeout as it looked like he might again pitch his way out of trouble.
Enter Tyler Knutson.
"We battled," Knutson said. "We had a really good pitcher throwing, so I knew with a runner on second just put the ball in play and try and get a run and we'd be set for the game."
The No. 9 hitter in the lineup, Knutson came up with one of his biggest hits all season.
"It was the first pitch," Knutson said. "He has been right around the plate on the first pitch, so I figured first pitch fastball and take a swing at it and see what happens."
He hit a blooper to right field, just over the head of the second baseman, as Dunnick raced home, giving Windom a 1-0 lead.
"I've been struggling lately in the playoffs, so it feels good to get that one," Knutson said. "I'm seeing the ball well, putting it in play, just not hitting line drives and popping out and stuff like that."
Even with Pick cruising and a lead, Jim Johnson didn't think the game was over just yet.
"We had a scouting report that they were swingers," he said. "One of our past Pirates... gave us a scouting report and said they swing the lumber."
But against Pick and a stout Windom defense, the Miners didn't reach base in the final five innings. After a two-out walk in the fourth inning, Pick retired 16 consecutive batters to end the game.
"I just thought I better pitch good this year because they worked hard as a team without me all year to get to here and then they rely on me to pitch," Pick said. "I just felt like I had a lot of pressure on my hands and I figured I better step up and pitch well for these guys. They did well all year by themselves and they just picked me up for one game and I don't want to let the whole team down."
Pick's counterpart, Bushland, allowed one unearned run on five hits while walking one and striking out 10 in eight innings.
"Shane Bushland has been doing this, putting up zeros, all year," Oye said. "I knew he was going to do it. Jared, when he's on, he's pretty much unhittable."
Brett Dumke had two hits for Windom, while Kody Johnson, Grove and Knutson each had a hit in the game. The Pirate defense didn't commit an error, while Moorhead had one costly error in the game.
Windom (23-8) will face Lamberton at 6 p.m. Friday in Gaylord.
"We'll come and play defense and pitch," Jim Johnson said. "... If the other team outdoes us, it's their game."
R H E
Mor. 000 000 000 -- 0 2 1
Win. 000 010 00X -- 1 5 0
Lamberton 2, Sacred Heart 0
GAYLORD -- Derrick Jenniges threw a three-hit shutout to lead the Long Sox to a victory in the first round of the Class C state amateur baseball playoffs Saturday.
Jenniges didn't walk a batter and struck out three in the complete-game victory.
Landon Erickson hit a leadoff home run in the seventh inning for Lamberton, breaking the 0-0 tie.
The Long Sox then added a run in the eighth. With two outs, Isaac Jenniges was hit by a pitch. With Anthony Ourada pinch running, Colby Pack hit an RBI double, giving Lamberton a 2-0 lead.
From there, Derek Jenniges retired Sacred Heart in order in the ninth to give the Long Sox the victory.
Lamberton will face Windom Friday in the second round.
R H E
SH 000 000 000 -- 0 3 1
Lam. 000 000 11X -- 2 6 0