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Prep baseball: Tough New Ulm team powers past Worthington

WORTHINGTON -- It was deja-vu all over again for the Worthington Trojans baseball team Saturday afternoon. After losing 12-2 at Marshall on Tuesday, 15-3 at home to Marshall on Wednesday, and 11-1 at St. Peter on Thursday, the Trojans were outsco...

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Worthington High School's Eric Heidebrink is caught leading too far off third base by New Ulm's Braden Zimmerman in Saturday's baseball game at Worthington. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

 

 

WORTHINGTON -- It was deja-vu all over again for the Worthington Trojans baseball team Saturday afternoon.

After losing 12-2 at Marshall on Tuesday, 15-3 at home to Marshall on Wednesday, and 11-1 at St. Peter on Thursday, the Trojans were outscored 20-4 in five innings at home Saturday by New Ulm.

Worthington fell behind early, 4-0 after one inning and 7-1 after two. When the Eagles scored 11 runs in the top of the third -- aided by three WHS errors -- the spark seemed to go completely out of a Trojans team that has had more than its share of tough luck this spring.

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The good news is that, for a team that desperately needs something good to happen, the spring campaign is far from over. The Trojans have four dates scheduled for next week against Big South Conference competition -- Monday at Pipestone Area, Tuesday at home against Windom Area, Thursday at Jackson County Central, and Friday at St. James Area. They are at Luverne the following Monday before heading into section tournament play.

Signs of a turnaround, however, were nowhere evident on Saturday against New Ulm, a team ranked ninth in Minnesota Class AAA. The home-standing Trojans were out-hit 16-5 and committed five errors. They used five pitchers in all, only once getting the Eagles out without allowing a run.

In the top of the first inning, a one-out RBI double by New Ulm’s Andrew Peters was followed by an RBI double by Sam Berg, then a two-out two-run single by Braden Zimmerman plated the third and fourth runs off starting pitcher Logan Huisman.

An RBI single by Peters and a two-run double by Jaden Domeier made the score 7-0 in the second inning, and Huisman was replaced by Tyler Linder with two outs in the frame.

Worthington’s Eric Heidebrink hit the first pitch of the bottom of the second for a ringing double, and he scored later on an infield grounder.

But in the top of the third, New Ulm went to town on pitchers Linder and Heidebrink, and it didn’t stop until Ben Rogers took the ball.

Just about all that could go wrong for the Trojans went wrong. First, there were the hits. Then a fly ball was dropped in the outfield. Then another fly ball was dropped by a second outfielder. A two-run double followed. A wild pitch scored another run. Then back-to-back hit batters put more runners on base. That was followed by the third error of the inning, an infield error.

The score was 16-1 before Rogers took the mound, and he retired both of the hitters he faced. The next inning, however, New Ulm scored two more runs.

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A bases-loaded two-out walk brought home Worthington’s second run of the game in the bottom of the fifth, and Heidebrink singled home two more runs.

New Ulm 43(11) 20 -- 20 16 2

Worthington 010 03 -- 4 5 5

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Worthington outfielder Turner Rogers catches a fly ball near the fence in the fourth inning Saturday. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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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