Albert Lea VFW wins division tourneyPublished 10:29am Monday, July 21, 2014
By Jacob Tellers
The Albert Lea VFW swept through their double elimination divisional playoffs with three straight wins, beating higher seeded Rochester John Marshall twice on their way to advancing to the district playoffs.
Jake Thompson and Alex Bledsoe were perfect at the plate in the first game and led the Tigers to a 9-4 victory over the Rochester Lourdes Knights.
Thompson was 4-for-4 with a triple, five RBIs and one run. Bledsoe was 3-for-3 with one double and three runs.
The Tigers beat Rochester JM in nail-biting extra inning game.
Starting pitcher Sam Moyer got into trouble early. He gave up two runs in the first and two straight hits to start the second inning.
Moyer was pulled for Blake Simmons with no outs in the second. Although the two runners on base scored, Simmons didn’t allow any additional runs the remainder of the game.
“That was quite a job he did,” said assistant coach Bruce Mullenbach.
Albert Lea runs in the second, third and fifth innings brought the game to a 4-4 tie at the end of the seventh.
Parker Mullenbach was walked to start the eighth inning. Parker Boyum singled in the next at-bat and Mullenbach advanced to second.
A sacrifice bunt by Mason Hammer allowed Mullenbach and Boyum to each advance a base.
Sam Moyer’s base hit sent Mullenbach home for the lone run of the inning, and the Tigers’ pitching and defense held firm to secure the win.
Having won their first two games, Albert Lea only needed to win one out of their next two games against Rochester JM, who won the consolation bracket to force a rematch with the Tigers.
Albert Lea was in control the entire game against the Rockets, as they went on to win 6-4 to advance to the district finals next week.
“We had the lead the whole way,” Mullenbach said.
Jake Kilby started the entire game for the Tigers. He struck out five batters and gave up only four runs.
The Albert Lea Tigers (20-8) will play Austin at 10 a.m. Saturday in Austin.
Albert Lea coach Ed Bellrichard described the upcoming game as a “tough task” as the Tigers have lost twice to Austin this season by scores of 7-1 and 10-0.