Legion baseball: Worthington drops wild one
WORTHINGTON -- First it looked like Worthington's to lose, and then it didn't. Post 5 regained control, but then lost it. It was a wild, back-and-forth battle Monday between Worthington and Sleepy Eye. Unfortunately for the home team, it was Post...
WORTHINGTON - First it looked like Worthington’s to lose, and then it didn’t. Post 5 regained control, but then lost it.
It was a wild, back-and-forth battle Monday between Worthington and Sleepy Eye. Unfortunately for the home team, it was Post 7 who wound up on the winning end of an 11-9 final score in extra innings.
“I’m proud of the way we played tonight,” Worthington coach Brad Shaffer said. “We didn’t give it up with mistakes. They hit the ball and ran the bases well; I’m talking about Sleepy Eye now. They just played good, fundamental baseball.”
A five-run sixth gave the visitors their first lead of the evening at 8-6. Worthington responded in the bottom of the frame to knot it up and eventually send the game to extras.
Will Mulder and Logan Thuringer started the inning with walks before a wild pitch allowed both of them to move up 90 feet. Nathan Braaksma came up big when he belted a two-run single to tie it at 8-8.
A highlight-reel sliding catch by Thuringer in center with two runners on and two outs in the top of the seventh kept the score even. But, after Sleepy Eye retired Post 5 in order in the bottom of the inning, it came up with some clutch hitting in the eighth.
Post 7 kept its hope of breaking the stalemate alive with a pair of two-out walks. Then a shallow bloop to center dropped in and allowed a run to score.
“They got a couple little Texas-Leaguers and things like that,” Shaffer said. “You can’t really do anything about that.”
That was followed by a scalding double to right that plated two more and put the visitors on top 11-8 going into the bottom of the eighth.
There, Worthington attempted to stage a comeback. Torey Rogers started the potential rally with a walk. Braaksma was hit by a pitch before Trevor Wietzema walked to load the bases with just one out. Nate Russell helped cut the deficit to two when he lifted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Rogers from third.
That, however, was as close as it got.
“It was a fun game,” Shaffer said. “It went into extra innings so to me, that shows that we battled.”
The home team did just that. Singles for Rogers, Wietzema and Russell staked it to a 3-0 lead with one inning in the books. That held until the top of the fifth when Sleepy Eye scored three to tie it up.
Post 5 immediately went back to work. Rogers led off the bottom of the inning with a triple to deep left-center and scored one pitch later on a Braaksma single. A two-bagger down the third base line courtesy of Roque Soto plated Braaksma. Soto eventually raced home on a Russell sacrifice fly to put Worthington back up by three at 6-3.
Worthington’s biggest issue on the night was giving up free bases, and that opened the door to Post 7’s five-run sixth. Four of the team’s 12 total walks in the ballgame along with two singles and an error turned the tide in Sleepy Eye’s favor at 8-6 before the home team mounted another comeback.
Mulder took the pitching loss for Worthington, pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief. He allowed three runs - two earned - on five hits, walked four and fanned two. Braaksma got the start surrendered only two earned runs on five hits over the first five innings.
“I really liked the way Nathan Braaksma pitched,” Shaffer said. “He did a good job for us. Will too. I feel bad that Will took the loss because I thought he pitched really well.”
Braaksma finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored. Wietzema was 2-for-3 with one run and another driven in. Rogers went 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs. Russell had a hit and drove in three runs.
Worthington will finish out its regular season on Friday night in New Ulm before beginning sub-state play next week.
R H E
Sleepy Eye 000 035 03 - 11 10 4
Worthington 300 032 01 - 9 8 3