BY AARON HAGEN
WORTHINGTON -- Jake Tauer was nearly unhittable for the Tracy Legion baseball team on Friday.
Tauer threw a five-inning shutout as Post 173 defeated Worthington 11-0.
Tracy wasted little time giving Tauer a cushion. The visitors scored five runs before the left-hander threw his first pitch.
“I liked our energy coming out of the dugout,” Worthington coach Tim Gaul said. “We can have all sorts of excuses. We didn’t have quite the mental focus that we needed to have. I did like the fact they didn’t give up. They came in and said, ‘Let’s knock it out a little at a time.’ Which is always what you’re looking for, for them not to give up.”
Tracy added six more in the third.
“You can’t take anything away from Tracy, though,” Gaul said. “They came to play. They hit the ball. Their pitcher was on the mark and they played solid defense. It’s a tough game to win when they have 12 hits and we had a couple errors.”
Worthington had just three hits and very limited scoring opportunities against Tauer as a runner never advanced past second base.
Adam Russell had a single in the second. Ethan Henderson drilled a double in the third and Rey Paniagua reached on a bunt single in the fourth.
“The bright spot on this was Ethan Henderson had a nice double,” Gaul said. “Ray put down a really nice bunt. Adam stayed consistent with what he’s been doing. He’s a pretty good hitter.”
In the first, Tracy’s first two batters walked. They were both driven home by consecutive singles and an error brought in runs three and four. The fifth run was driven in by the 10th batter who came to the plate in the inning.
In the third, the Post 173 bats came alive again. Jake Byrne had a two-run single, while Tauer, Konnor Zick, Rylan Fogelson and Andrew LaVoy each had an RBI.
“My positive take out of this is that it’s one game at a time,” Gaul said. “We’re going down to Sioux City tomorrow. They realize they have to come with a little better focus, they have to come ready to play with a little better approach at the plate.”
Byrne finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Sawyer Otto had two hits. Tauer drove in two runs, Zick had two RBIs and John Schmitt had two hits for Tracy.
Post 5 travels to Sioux City for a tournament this weekend.
“We’re going to make a couple adjustments on the lineup and we’re going to maybe make a couple adjustments on defense as the weekend goes,” Gaul said.