Woelber throws gem to lead Pipestone past Adrian, 3-1 (amateur round-up)
ADRIAN -- After inducing 15 ground ball outs, Pipestone's veteran pitching ace Kent Woelber loudly called "mine, mine, mine" as he tracked down a foul pop-up outside the first base line for the game's final out -- in the bottom of the ninth -- We...
ADRIAN -- After inducing 15 ground ball outs, Pipestone's veteran pitching ace Kent Woelber loudly called "mine, mine, mine" as he tracked down a foul pop-up outside the first base line for the game's final out -- in the bottom of the ninth -- Wednesday night, as Woelber and his teammates earned a key 3-1 Gopher League victory.
Woelber, who will turn 43 in February, has pitched in the league since 1986 -- and his experience paid dividends for the A's in a game they needed to win.
"This was a big win for us," Woelber said after the game. "As far as the upcoming seeding for the playoffs, this was a very big win."
Woelber struck out just five, but after yielding four hits in the first three innings, he was only touched for a trio of hits (two of them infield singles) over the last six frames.
The victory was the 11th in a row for Pipestone, who improved to 14-5 for the season.
The A's face the league-leading Wilmont Cardinals in Wilmont Saturday afternoon. Later, Pipestone will host Fox Lake later in the evening in their final two regular season games.
The playoffs begin July 16, but Pipestone will likely draw a bye as the Gopher League's second seed.
In a game that was highlighted by eye-opening defensive plays -- by each team -- Pipestone scored twice in the first inning and then countered Adrian's third inning score by plating another run in the top of the fourth.
Neither team scored again the rest of the contest, as Woelber and Adrian pitchers David Hoffer, Brandon Diekmann and Jordon Kontz all pitched well, throwing strikes and getting stellar defensive plays behind them.
"Defensively, we played very well," Adrian player-manager Levi Bullerman said. "Giving up just three runs is good."
Adrian, however, stranded 10 runners, putting men on base in six of the nine frames. The A's loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the eighth.
But a big defensive play by Pipestone third baseman Danny Moffitt helped keep Adrian from scoring.
After Glen Kruger and Brandon Wolf were each hit by a pitch, Joe Kruger's slow roller to the left side of the infield was not fielded -- and everybody was safe.
Adrian second baseman Jason Stubbe -- who was 2-for-3 -- hit Woelber's first pitch hard, but right at Moffitt, who fired home to catcher Nate Alfson for the force. Alfson completed the 5-2-3 double play with a throw to first baseman Brady Legler.
"That was a big, big play," said Woelber, who pitched his second complete game of the season. "Adrian is aggressive at the plate and as the game progressed, I mixed it up more and was able to get lots of ground outs."
"He kept us off balance all game long," said Bullerman about Woelber's performance. "We hit some balls hard, but right at them. There's nothing you can do about that."
Pipestone scored two runs in the top of the first, plating both batters that had slapped back-to-back one-out singles.
After Nick Schneider ripped a base hit up the middle, Alfson followed with a sharp single past third.
Both runners advanced on Woelber's ground out to Adrian shortstop Cody Kontz -- the second of eight successful ground ball assists made by the sleek-moving A's infielder.
Dave Steenstra knocked Hoffer's first pitch down the left field line, for a two-RBI single, plating both Scheider and Alfson.
Steenstra, however, was gunned out at second on a terrific throw by Adrian left fielder Matt Gades.
In the second inning, Gades made an even more amazing throw. After fielding an apparent Wade Newgard RBI single to left, Gades fired a perfect one-hopper to Bullerman at the plate -- nailing a sliding Colin Taubert on a very close play.
Taubert had reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error on the play.
"Those were a pair of great throws by Matt," praised Bullerman. "They were both inning-ending plays and that one to the plate saved a run."
Hoffer pitched a 1-2-3 third, ending the frame with his first strikeout.
Adrian scored in the bottom of the inning.
After Gades reached base on a leadoff single and advanced to second on a passed ball, Cody Kontz drove in Gades with an RBI single to right center.
Kontz advanced to second on the throw home and as Glen Kruger drew the game's first walk, Kontz streaked to third on a passed ball and Adrian was threatening with runners on the corners and just one out.
Woelber, however, worked out of the jam -- being aided by a strong throw home by Schneider, which kept Kontz from tagging.
Woelber then helped his own cause by leading off the top of the fourth with a double to right field -- sliding into second on a close play. He advanced to third on a passed ball and scored the game's final run on a RBI single by Taubert.
Hoffer then notched another strikeout and Adrian first baseman Joe Kruger made a nice running catch of a foul pop-up to end the inning.
A couple of spectacular diving catches by Adrian outfielders -- Brandon Wolf in center and Jordon Kontz in right -- along with three running catches in left by Gades, helped Adrian keep Pipestone off the board the rest of the game.
Diekmann worked a 1-2-3 inning for Adrian in the top of the eighth, including an inning-ending strikeout.
Jordon Kontz faced just four batters in the top of the ninth and Adrian looked to rally in the bottom of the inning.
Gades started the frame with an infield hit and moved to third on back-to-back groundouts to the right side (second baseman Matt Oye).
After Glen Kruger was beaned for the second time, Adrian again had runners on the corners.
But Woelber got Wolf to pop-up the ball -- and the veteran made the game-ending catch to give Pipestone the victory in the "Battle of the A's."
Adrian plays at Spencer, Iowa Saturday.
R H E
Pipestone 200 100 000 -- 3 9 1
Adrian 001 000 000 -- 1 7 3
Windom 11, Fox Lake 8
WINDOM -- After scoring four runs in the top of the seventh inning Wednesday in an amateur baseball contest, Fox Lake had an 8-6 lead and appeared to be heading toward a victory.
However, Windom responded with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to capture an 11-8 victory.
Lance Jackson earned the victory on the hill, allowing one unearned run on two hits, while striking out a pair in two and one-third innings of relief.
Brad Schlomann started on the mound for the Pirates (9-12), and allowed four earned runs. while striking out six in six and two-third innings.
For Windom, Kody Johnson had a bit night at the plate. He had three hits, including two triples and drove in six runs in the game.
Matt Anderson had two hits and drove in a run, while Brett Dumke had an RBI double.
Windom will travel to Jackson Sunday for the regular season finale before starting playoff action Wednesday.
R H E
FL 010 102 400 -- 8 14 1
Win. 310 200 05X -- 11 10 1
Hadley 10, Tracy 4
TRACY -- Behind a pair of hits from Tim Haberman and James Wajer, the Hadley Buttermakers came from behind for a six-run victory Wednesday night.
Haberman had two hits and scored twice, while Wajer had two hits and drove in one run.
Taylor Rignell had a hit and drove in two runs.
Chris Haken earned the victory on the hill for the Buttermakers (7-8, 10-11), allowing one run while striking out three in six innings of relief.
Hadley will travel to Chaska Saturday.
R H E
Hadley 125 100 100 -- 10 7 2
Tracy 211 000 000 -- 4 6 2