Tigers fall in season’s final at-bat
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2002
RED WING &045; This year’s Section 1AAA Baseball Tournament has been strewn with upsets, and it looked like the Albert Lea Tigers had one in the bag.
Instead, the Red Wing Wingers somehow pulled a win out of their hat.
The Tigers led 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday with two outs, nobody on base and a two-strike count on the batter. Four at-bats later the Wingers had a 7-6 victory, stunning the Tigers while ending their season.
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&uot;It was a tough loss,&uot; said Albert Lea coach Joe Sczublewski. &uot;It just shows that you never know in baseball. We were just one strike away from advancing. Our guys played hard.&uot;
The Tigers, seeded 14th in the section, finished with a record of 5-17 while sixth-seeded Red Wing advanced in what so far has been a wild tournament. Ninth-seeded Eagan eliminated Rochester Century &045; the No. 3 ranked team in the state &045; by a 9-1 score, and 11th-seeded Lakeville upset Rochester Mayo 11-0. Second-seeded Northfield was eliminated by No. 10 Owatonna.
The biggest runs Saturday may have been in the first two innings, when the Tigers allowed the Wingers four unearned runs.
The Tigers took the lead with a five-run third, adding another in the fifth.
&uot;The guys rebounded strongly after being down 4-0 and giving up four unearned runs,&uot; said Sczublewski.
Senior left-hander Adam Highum pitched well for the Tigers, striking out five while walking only one, intentionally in the bottom of the seventh.
Nick Veldman was 2-for-3 for the Tigers, Brandon Klukow and Andy Drenth 2-for-4. Drenth had two RBIs. Highum, Isaac Walton, Derek Goodnature and David Heijerman had one hit each.
Goodnature drove in two runs.
The Tigers graduate six seniors in Highum, Drenth, Walton, Jay Link, Scott Hoeg and Matt Bracker.
Red Wing 7, Albert Lea 6
0 &045; 6
3 &045; 7
LP &045; Adam Highum