Luverne VFW tops Adrian
ADRIAN -- Getting a stellar pitching performance from Nick Meyer and combining a variety of hits with several well-placed bunts, the Luverne VFW baseball team pulled away in the last two innings, defeating Adrian Monday evening by a final score o...
ADRIAN -- Getting a stellar pitching performance from Nick Meyer and combining a variety of hits with several well-placed bunts, the Luverne VFW baseball team pulled away in the last two innings, defeating Adrian Monday evening by a final score of 12-1.
Through the first five innings, the game was a closely-contested pitcher's duel between Meyer and Adrian's Luke Tiesler.
Luverne (7-4, 16-7) had scored a run in the first inning and plated two more in the top of the third, but Tiesler pitched shutout ball in the second, fourth and fifth innings before a combination of well-executed bunt plays and a couple of Adrian errors changed the complexion of the contest in the sixth.
"Tiesler did a fine job pitching for us," Adrian head coach Kevin Nowotny said after the game. "If we could have backed him up with better defense, the game may have stayed close."
Meyer, meanwhile, was controlling the Adrian lineup with a variety of pitches, including a curveball that was working better than usual.
"My curve was working well tonight," Meyer said. "My catcher (Josh Boomgaarden) called a good game and did a great job blocking balls that broke into the dirt. We only had one error all game and that really helped."
Meyer scattered just four hits in seven innings while striking out 13. He walked two batters and also hit two, but maintained command and kept Adrian off the basepaths most of the game.
"Nick did an excellent job of pitching," Luverne head coach Mike Wenninger told his team after the game. "We are getting better as a group, and we are doing the little things right that it takes to win games."
"He was lights out," said Nowotny about Meyer. "He pitched a very good game, and we never were able to string enough together to mount a rally."
"Nick showed a lot of command and had good control," praised Wenninger. "He has been a little wild in some past games, but tonight he maintained his composure and pitched well for seven innings."
A well-executed 6-4-3 double play -- from shortstop Trevor Stoffel to second baseman Dylan Richters to first baseman Landon Gacke -- ended the game in the bottom of the seventh.
A leadoff double by Stoffel started Luverne on the right track in the top of the first. Stoffel moved to third on a hit-and-run groundout by Eric Kor -- and then scored on Meyer's (2-for-5) RBI single.
Neither team scored again until Luverne pushed across a pair in the third.
Kor walked and stole second. After Gacke reached on an error, moving Kor to third, Luverne executed a delayed steal maneuver.
The tactic worked as Kor slid home on a close play at the plate, colliding with Adrian catcher Justin Wolf.
Andrew Kannas drove in Gacke with a groundout and Luverne had a 3-0 lead.
Tiesler then held Luverne without a run over the next two frames, and Adrian scored its lone run in the bottom of the fifth.
Tyler Sieve (2-for-4) smacked a leadoff double and moved to third on a dropped third strike, which allowed Andrew Lonneman to reach first.
Luverne's only error of the game came off a ball hit by Wolf (who had tagged a double in the first inning), plating Sieve with an unearned run.
Luverne came back with a trio of runs -- on three straight bunts -- in the top of the sixth.
Jon Fodness walked to start the inning. Austin Richters bunted and was safe on a fielder's choice, with Fodness beating the throw to second.
Joey Slieter then bunted, and an errant throw allowed both Fodness and Richters to score.
With Slieter at third, Boomgaarden laid down Luverne's third consecutive bunt -- a perfectly placed suicide squeeze play that plated Slieter with Post 2757's sixth run of the game.
"We did a nice job of bunting and moving kids around in that inning," explained Wenninger. "That's an example of doing the little things right."
Two batters later, Nowotny lifted Tiesler (just one earned run in five-and-one-third innings) and brought in lefty Dru Strand.
An RBI single by Dustin Richters plated Stoffel (who had reached on an error) and -- after another Adrian error -- Luverne's Conner Fitzer delivered a two-RBI double to right field, scoring both Dustin Richters and Meyer.
Leading 9-1, Luverne scored three more runs in the top of the seventh.
Austin Richters and Slieter slapped back-to-back singles to left field. A sacrifice bunt by Schulyer Sweir moved the runners to second and third.
Austin Eeten's RBI single scored Richters and Slieter streaked home on a RBI single up the middle by Dustin Richters.
Gacke's RBI single plated Eeten with the game's final run.
"We had eight players combine for 10 hits," summarized Wenninger. "We have 17 players, and tonight each one of them played and they all contributed."
Luverne hosts Sioux Falls Central Wednesday and travels to Worthington for a key league game Thursday.
Adrian (3-8, 4-10) plays at Pipestone Thursday.
R H E
Luverne 102 006 3 -- 12 10 1
Adrian 000 01 00 -- 1 4 10