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Prep baseball: St. Peter downs Worthington, 12-5

WORTHINGTON -- The high school baseball season is still young. But it's not as young as you think. Because of a late winter that erased nearly a month of the season, teams are forced to squeeze the remainder of their 2018 campaigns into a smaller...

 

 

WORTHINGTON -- The high school baseball season is still young.

But it’s not as young as you think.

Because of a late winter that erased nearly a month of the season, teams are forced to squeeze the remainder of their 2018 campaigns into a smaller window. That means Worthington Trojans head coach Stacy Sauerbrei is already getting impatient.

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“We have to have a sense of urgency to improve,” he said Monday after the local nine lost a 12-5 decision to visiting St. Peter.

The first half of the game was played under gusty wind conditions, though the wind settled down for the second half of the contest.

Three days earlier, the Trojans were defeated at home 11-9 and 17-11 by Fairmont in a doubleheader.

Giving up 40 runs in three games isn’t good, even by Minnesota Twins standards. Sauerbrei said the team’s pitching needs to be better.

“We’re just not throwing enough strikes. Walking guys. You can’t play defense when you walk guys,” said the veteran coach. “That’s where it starts, and (pitching) is supposed to be a strong thing for us. And I think it will be. We just gotta figure it out.”

Senior right-hander Tyler Linder started on the mound for Worthington and was pulled in the fourth inning in favor of Ben Rogers, who went one and one-third. Adam Russell pitched one and two-thirds. And lefty Karter Honius finished up.

All four of the Trojan pitchers had their good moments. But they had their shaky moments, too.

St. Peter took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the third inning.

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In the bottom of the third, Worthington scored four. Back-to-back-to-back singles by Turner Rogers, Linder and Eric Heidebrink loaded the bases with nobody out. Walks to Brayden Donkersloot and Russell brought in a pair of runs, and an infield out off Honius’s bat gave WHS a 4-3 lead. A wild pitch forced in the fourth run, allowing Worthington to take a 5-3 lead into the fourth.

But the Saints plated four runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth to break open the game. Russell came on with one out in the fifth and settled things down, but not until giving up a two-run double to Hunter Wilmes and a two-run double down the third base line to Joey Baron.

Worthington was shut out for the final four innings and finished the game with just four hits -- despite showing aggressiveness at the plate.

“I think we have a good hitting team,” said Sauerbrei. “All the way through our lineup. I can’t be upset with our hitting approach. It’s been pretty solid.”

WHS committed just one error defensively despite being unable to practice their glovework outdoors for weeks.

St. Peter 012 450 0 -- 12 14 0

Worthington 014 000 0 -- 5 4 1

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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