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Prep baseball: Trojans rout Blue Earth Area

WORTHINGTON -- When Worthington first baseman Tyler Linder stepped into the box with the game-winning run in scoring position with one out in the sixth inning, he was just moments away from raking the infield.

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Worthington Trojan Austin Svalland (9) slides safely into second base Thursday as the ball glances off Blue Earth Area's Chris Sanders' glove. (Tim Middagh / Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- When Worthington first baseman Tyler Linder stepped into the box with the game-winning run in scoring position with one out in the sixth inning, he was just moments away from raking the infield.

“I was thinking this guy’s a little faster, so I grabbed a lighter bat and just wanted to try to make contact, get the ball to the outfield and get the run in so we could rake the field and get home,” he said.

He dropped a soft blooper into shallow right field and Logan Huisman scored from second base, giving the Trojans a 10-run lead, 13-3, to defeat Blue Earth Area in a high school baseball game on Thursday in Worthington. It was the fifth RBI of the game for Linder, who was 2-for-2 with a sacrifice, a walk, a run, and a triple.

The big Trojans fourth featured five walks, a hit by pitch, an error and two hits, including Linder’s three-run triple that scored Tucker Sorenson, Eli Gaul, Easton Sauerbrei. Linder, Mason Ellenbecker and Austin Svalland also scored in the inning.

“I swung and closed my eyes and felt it and I thought, ‘Wow, this is gonna be a good hit,’” Linder said of his triple. “So I started rounding first and looked and the center fielder was just standing there, so I thought it must have gone over the fence. But then I saw him bend over so I hauled and slid into third. It was a weird hit.”

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A fast start in the first inning gave the Trojans an early cushion. They scored four runs in the first. Gaul drove in Shawn Hurley with a ground ball between the shortstop and third baseman. Sauerbrei drove in Sorenson with an infield single to short. Huisman hit a double off the wall in left-center to drive in Sauerbrei. And Linder drove in Huisman with an infield single.

“It (helps to play with a lead) and we’ve got a group of seniors who are putting a little bit of pressure on themselves,” Worthington coach Stacy Sauerbrei said. “That helped to relieve that and let them have some fun. It’s nice to jump out on top.”

Sorenson started on the mound and picked up the win, as he threw two innings, struck out three, walked two, and allowed one hit and one run. He struggled to place his fastball early, but was on point with his breaking pitches early.

“Any time you see a pitcher off to his arm side, he’s probably dropping down a little bit,” the coach said. “It’s early, and he was able to work through it. We made a couple of nice defensive plays to not give up any big innings.”

The Trojans defense was on display in the third inning. Sauerbrei got the first out of the inning as he ranged over to the left of his shortstop position and snagged a chopping grounder behind second base and made a perfect throw to retire the batter. Not be outdone, Sauerbrei’s middle infield companion, Huisman, got the third out deep in the hole to his left behind a diving Linder and made an alert play to get the ball to the pitcher sprinting to cover first base.

“Logan’s play was really good,” coach Sauerbrei said. “Our infield is so bad, you don’t know where the ball is going. And he smothers it and gets the guy out.”

Blue Earth Area scored one run in the second and two in the fifth. In the fifth, Zac Schonrock drove in Kaylan Legred and Chris Sanders with a single between third base and shortstop.

Blue Earth Area 010 020 -- 3 5 2Worthington 400 702 -- 13 10 1

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Tucker Sorenson (27) of Worthington throws a pitch in Thursday's high school baseball game against Blue Earth Area. (Tim Middagh / Daily Globe)

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