Prep baseball: Trojans start fast, hold on late
Aaron HagenDaily Globe WORTHINGTON -- Easton Sauerbrei didn't think he had the distance. Connecting on a second-inning pitch, the junior on Worthington's baseball team thought he had a double. Instead, the ball carried over the left-field fence f...
WORTHINGTON - Easton Sauerbrei didn’t think he had the distance.
Connecting on a second-inning pitch, the junior on Worthington’s baseball team thought he had a double. Instead, the ball carried over the left-field fence for a three-run home run. Those few feet turned out to be the difference as the Trojans survived with an 8-7 victory over Windom Area in a non-conference game Tuesday.
“I thought it was just going to be a double right over the left fielder,” Sauerbrei said. “I looked as I turned around first base and I saw the left fielder bang on the fence and I was like, ‘Oh wow, it’s gone.’”
Sauerbrei and the Trojans (11-8) scored all eight runs in the first two innings. They had one more hit in the final four.
“It was a good effort,” WHS head coach Stacy Sauerbrei said. “Windom Area is a good team and we were fortunate to get ahead. We hit well early.”
Easton Sauerbrei, who was also the winning pitcher, was 2 for 2 with four RBIs in the first two innings alone.
“When I struck out two guys in the first inning, it got my momentum going, my personal momentum,” he said. “That got my mindset to hit the ball too. I wanted to get up and help myself get through the game.”
Shawn Hurley led off the game with a single for WHS and Tucker Sorenson followed with a walk. Nathan Braaksma scored Hurley with a single and Easton Sauerbrei drove home Sorenson. Russell and Sauerbrei each scored in the first as WHS led 5-0.
Sauerbrei’s home run in the second was the final run for the Trojans, while Sorenson’s single in the sixth was the only hit in the last four innings.
Meanwhile, Windom (11-5) started chipping away at the lead. Luke Gilbertson drove home Noah Kloss in the third, and Devin Nielsen, who was hit with a pitch, scored on a passed ball. Sam Huska drove home Jeff Pfeffer in the fifth as the Eagles were within five runs.
They almost got it all back in the sixth. Windom scored two runs on an error and Huska had a key two-run double in the inning. With the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second, Sorenson recorded the final two outs to maintain the lead.
“It was a great way to respond,” Windom head coach Brad Schlomann said. “That’s a good test. This is a non-conference game for us, but it’s a good non-conference game.These guys come back. It’s the seniors’ team and they led us back into to when we needed to. We struck out a lot at the wrong time, which means their pitchers stepped up.”
Sorenson struck out the side in the seventh to end any hope of a Windom comeback.
“I just tried to hit my spots,” Sorenson said. “A few of them got away from me, but I just calmed down, I think I was going a little too fast. I tried to take my time, take a deep breath and throw the ball. Coaches and (catcher) King (Blanchette) back there were giving me good spots and good pitches to throw, I’m thankful they made the right calls.”
Tuesday was the final home game for the Trojan seniors. WHS is at Jackson County Central Thursday in its final regular-season game.
“It was a nice way for the seniors to end their home career,” Stacy Sauerbrei said. “They all contributed in some way and that’s fun to see. It’s been a really fun group to coach over the years.”
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Windom Area 002 014 0 - 7 9 3
Worthington 530 000 x - 8 6 3