Prep baseball: Trojans' win streak ends

Aaron HagenDaily Globe WORTHINGTON -- One team's streak was coming to an end in Friday's Big South Conference baseball game.Worthington entered the matchup having won its last four games, while Redwood Valley was victorious in its last three. "It...

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TIM MIDDAGH/DAILY GLOBE Worthington Trojan Logan Huisman (16) scoops up the ball and throws to second base to teammate Easton Sauerbrei Friday against Redwood Valley.

Aaron Hagen
Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON - One team’s streak was coming to an end in Friday’s Big South Conference baseball game.
Worthington entered the matchup having won its last four games, while Redwood Valley was victorious in its last three.
“It’s the time of the year where you have to be playing your best and right now we are,” said RV head coach Aaron Ferrier. “That’s all we can ask for. We have a lot of progress still to make. (WHS head coach) Stacy (Sauerbrei) does such a good job with these kids and they have had so many big wins the last couple of days, it’s tough to maintain that.”
On a bitterly-cold day, the visiting Cardinals rallied from a 7-2 deficit to take a 9-7 victory.
“If you don’t play well, you don’t win,” Sauerbrei said. “And we didn’t play well. The weather is the same for both teams. You just have to deal with it. It’s not any colder today than it was against St. Peter at the beginning of the season and we played two games that day. We just didn’t play well.”
Early on, it looked like the Trojans were going to be the ones extending their streak.
The Cardinals scored a run in the top of the first as Darin Ward singled and scored on Mitchell Irlbeck’s single.
WHS answered right back in the bottom of the second. Tucker Sorenson doubled and Nathan Braaksma (three hits) drove him home to tie the score at 1. The Trojans scored a run in the second as Torey Rogers drew a walk and later scored on a double steal.
The visiting squad scored in the third as Calvin Mannz drew a leadoff walk and later scored on Alex Barnes’ groundout.
But WHS came back with two big innings.
In the fourth, King Blanchette led off with a single. Nate Russell (two hits) followed with a single. Later, with one out and the bases loaded, Logan Huisman (four RBIs) delivered a two-run single, giving Worthington a 4-2 lead.
An inning later, Easton Sauerbrei reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Russell reached on an error and Rogers drew a walk. Tyler Linder reached on an error, which scored Sauerbrei. Huisman again came up with a big hit with the bases loaded. His single plated two more runs as WHS led 7-2.
“Other than the one inning, we didn’t get hits in key situations,” Coach Sauerbrei said. “Seven runs is not bad. We had other opportunities we didn’t come through in.”
But the Cardinals came back in a big way in the sixth.
Jordan Kohout drew a walk to start the inning. Joe Salvati was hit with a pitch and Ryan Bassett walked to load the bases - forcing a WHS pitching change. On the very next pitch, James Pendleton drove a ball deep into center, plating two with a key double.
“That was big,” Ferrier said. “Up until that point, we would have bases loaded and runners in scoring position and hadn’t gotten that hit. That was big for us. That really got us started that inning. We took advantage of them struggling a little bit throwing strikes and we finally put the ball in play. James kind of got us going.”
Ward reached on an error, which drove home Bassett. With one out, Colten Minkel drove home Pendleton on a bloop single in shallow left field. With two outs and the bases loaded, Kohout and Salvati each drew a walk, which scored two more runs. By the time it was over, the Cardinals scored six times on two hits in the sixth and took a 8-7 lead.
“I told the boys before the game, ‘You’re going to make physical errors today, it’s inevitable when the weather is like this, but let’s try to stay away from the mental errors,’” Coach Sauerbrei said. “We made mental errors today. It wasn’t the physical errors.”
RV added an insurance run in the seventh and Pendleton singled and scored on Irlbeck’s RBI groundout.
“It was nice to add another one in the top of the seventh. That was big for confidence going into the field,” Ferrier said. “It was a tough day for everybody. It’s one of those days you wish you were inside practicing and moving on.”
WHS couldn’t get anyone in scoring position in the final two innings in the two-run loss.
“You always want to eliminate those mistakes, but the thing we have look at as great was coming back from 7-2 and not giving up and battling one at bat at a time,” Ferrier said. “That was really good. We can always clean the other things up, but that was really good. Colten Minkel did a really nice job throwing for us and gave us a chance. That’s all you can ask for, especially on a day like today where it’s hard to throw strikes.”
Redwood Valley (5-8) hosts Pipestone Area today, while Worthington (10-8) hosts Windom on Tuesday.
“We just didn’t play well,” Coach Sauerbrei said. “That sometimes happens and we’re not good enough to play poorly and win a lot. But they’ll bounce back. They’ll take the weekend and not think about baseball and come back Monday and have practice. And then we play a good Windom team on Tuesday.”
Redwood Valley 101 006 1 - 9 10 5
Worthington 110 230 0 - 7 9 5

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