Prep baseball: Life's a beach for Pipestone Area

Aaron HagenDaily Globe WINDOM -- Blake Wolters isn't having any issues seeing the ball.In fact, it looks pretty good right now for the the senior on Pipestone Area's baseball team."The good Lord let me see the ball big tonight," Wolters said. "An...

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Pipestone Area pitcher Mitchel Carson winds up to deliver a pitch Thursday to Windom Area. TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE

Aaron Hagen
Daily Globe

WINDOM - Blake Wolters isn’t having any issues seeing the ball.
In fact, it looks pretty good right now for the the senior on Pipestone Area’s baseball team.
“The good Lord let me see the ball big tonight,” Wolters said. “And it was big, about like a beach ball coming in there. I just kept hitting it.”
Wolters had four hits and drove in five runs as the Arrows defeated Windom Area 10-5 in a Big South Conference game Thursday.
“We’re on a good roll right now. We swung the bats tonight,” Wolters said. “Mitchel Carson pitched well. We found our groove and started off early and stayed hot.”
With the win, the Arrows improve to 3-0 this season.
“We could have just as easily been 0-3 and we are 3-0,” PA head coach Rick Zollner said. “Canby had us on the ropes and we won it in the seventh and Luverne had us on the ropes and we won it in the seventh. It’s kind of nice to try to get three outs in the seventh instead of three runs.”
Early on, Thursday’s game appeared to be a pitching duel between Carson and Windom Area’s Sam Huska.
“Huska is a great pitcher, so we knew we had to get at him early, otherwise it was going to be tough to get out of the breaking ball and the 0-2 counts,” Wolters said. “It’s tough to work out of that. We had to get at him early. We did that in the second inning. The first time through the order it was feeling him out a little bit. He’s definitely one of the best pitchers we’ll face all year.”
The Arrows didn’t touch Huska until the second inning. With two outs, McKinley Bush and Brad Hillard each drew a walk. Mitchell Bobendrier scored them both with a double, giving PA the early lead.
“It was big when Mitchell Bobendrier came up and got a hit and drove in the two right away,” Zollner said. “I think that settled our guys in. We weren’t sure what to expect. Sam is certainly capable of throwing a shutout every time he goes out there. For us to score first, I think helped relax us a little bit.”
Austin Moeller doubled and scored on Wolters’ single in the third, giving the Arrows a 3-0 lead.
The Eagles finally got on the board in the third. Huska doubled and later scored on an error.
In the sixth inning, Justin Rops was hit by a pitch to lead off and Billy Olsen drew a walk. Moeller reached an an error and Carson followed with an RBI single. Wolters drove in two with a single and Michael Friese drove in another run as the Arrows led 7-1.
“We had some pretty good at-bats and we ran the bases pretty well,” Zollner said. “We had a couple mistakes, but for the most part it was a pretty good game for us for game three of the year.”
The Eagles responded with two runs in the sixth. Jeff Pfeffer reached after striking out and Huska followed with a double. Devin Nielsen drove in a run with a single as WA scored twice in the sixth.
But Wolters and the Arrows weren’t done yet.
Rops drew a walk to lead off the seventh and Olsen was hit with a pitch. With two outs, Wolters delivered a two-run double.
“Sometimes you see it and sometimes you don’t,” Wolters said. “I’ve gone through slumps where I can’t hit it either, those times the ball looks like a golf ball instead of a beach ball.”
Josh Homann - running for Wolters - scored on Ethan Ploeger’s (three hits) RBI single to cap the three-run inning.
WA tried to rally in the seventh with two outs. Huska drew a walk and Nielsen drove him in with a single. Nielsen (2 for 4, two RBI) scored on Devin Homer’s double, but a strikout ended the game.
Wolters finished with four hits, including two doubles. Huska nearly matched him with three hits, three runs scored and two doubles.
“Those two really put on a hitting clinic I thought,” Zollner said. “It was great for Blake. He has been playing up on varsity for a while and he’s worked on some things this year. He’s really covering the plate well and seeing it exceptionally well. It’s been a good year so far for Blake.”
Huska suffered the loss for the Eagles. He allowed four runs while striking out 10 in five innings. Carson earned the victory, allowing one earned run on four hits while striking out six in five innings.
“I think they have a nice team,” WA head coach Brad Schlomann said. “They battle in certain parts of their order, they put the ball in play. We lost a game, but I think he has a good club there. You’re going to have to play good baseball to beat them.”
PA will host St. James in a doubleheader on Saturday, while Windom Area hosts Luverne on Monday.
“It’s good to have these games, whether it’s early in the season or in the middle of the season,” Schlomann said. “I don’t want to talk anout last year too much, but we played great every ball game last year... it didn’t help us at the end of the year. Let’s get better every game, let’s clean up the little things as the year goes along.”
Pipestone Area 021 004 3 - 10 11 4
Windom 000 102 2 - 5 6 1

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Windom Area High school’s Jeff Pfeffer (12) gets some contact, fouling a pitch, in Thursday’s baseball action against Pipestone Area.

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