VFW: Worthington VFW team rebounds with 4-0 victory
WORTHINGTON -- Fanning 12 batters in an impressive complete-game performance and sparking a six-hit, four-run bottom of the sixth inning with a one-out double, Lucas Henning helped engineer the Worthington Post 3958 VFW baseball team to a 4-0 vic...
WORTHINGTON -- Fanning 12 batters in an impressive complete-game performance and sparking a six-hit, four-run bottom of the sixth inning with a one-out double, Lucas Henning helped engineer the Worthington Post 3958 VFW baseball team to a 4-0 victory over Luverne on Thursday night.
Henning, who allowed just two hits and walked three batters in seven shutout innings, capped his 12-strikeout effort by notching a trio of K's in the top of the seventh -- sealing the victory for Worthington.
"Lucas mixed it up well and looked good on the mound," Worthington coach T.D. Hostikka said after the game. "He threw the ball very well and also helped get our offense going with a solid double down the right-field line in the sixth inning."
Henning's one-out extra-base hit -- just Worthington's second hit of the game and the first since a two-out triple by Blake Rogers in the opening inning -- started a six-hit rally that plated all four of the game's runs.
Jon Reller and Tanner Rogers (RBI) followed with back-to-back singles, as Henning scored to give Worthington a 1-0 advantage. Deron Soderholm then singled to load the bases.
Nate Jensen belted a two-run double into the right-field corner, scoring Reller and Tanner Rogers to put Worthington up 3-0. An infield single off the bat of Tyler Hatterman -- Worthington's sixth straight hit -- then allowed Soderholm to score from third, increasing the lead to 4-0.
"We started to hit the ball like we are capable of during that rally," Hostikka said. "That was big, as the game had been a great pitchers' duel up to that point."
Luverne's Richard Gonzalez pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings, working around six walks and striking out a pair of batters while allowing just one hit. Gonzalez, a left-hander just like Henning, faced just two batters over the minimum through four innings -- capped by a 1-2-3 effort in the fourth.
"Richard did a nice job for us," Luverne coach Mike Wenninger said. "I was pleased with the way he pitched and the way we played defense. We just needed to hit the ball a little better."
Nick Rittenhouse cracked a two-out single in the first, and Skyler Wenninger reached on a bunt single with no outs in the sixth to account for Luverne's only two hits of the game. Both Rittenhouse and Wenninger pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief, as well.
Henning, who struck out a pair of batters in each of the first, second, fourth and fifth innings, retired 10 straight batters at one point -- setting Luverne down in order in the third, fourth and fifth frames after picking up an inning-ending strikeout in the second.
Luverne had runners on second and third in both the sixth and seventh innings, but Henning and the Worthington defense were able to escape each jam.
Luverne's Wyatt Aubert drew a lead-off walk in the sixth before Wenninger's bunt single up the first-base line. Henning then induced three straight ground-ball outs to wiggle out of trouble.
Gonzalez coaxed a lead-off walk in the seventh, and after a strikeout, Lucas Nath reached on an error. Henning, though, fanned the next two batters to secure Worthington's victory.
Worthington, which is now 3-4 overall and 2-0 in league play, travels to Sioux City, Iowa for a tournament this weekend.
R H E
Luverne 000 000 0 -- 0 2 1
Worth. 000 004 x -- 4 7 2