Colonels fall to defending champs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 27, 2002

Staring at a 10-0 deficit after 5 1/2 innings on a Sunday night, it would have been easy for the Albert Lea Colonels to throw in the towel and go home early.

It’s just that the 2002 Colonels refuse to do that.

The Colonels kept battling but couldn’t come back against the defending Southern Minny League champions, falling 10-2 to the Rochester Royals at Hayek Field.

Email newsletter signup

“Rochester played a real good game and we didn’t hit the ball,” said Colonels manager Bill Trygstad. “But we never gave up. The guys hung tough and played the whole nine innings. That’s one thing about these guys, they don’t give up.”

Isaac Walton started on the mound for the Colonels and took his first loss of the season in three decisions. He was charged with five runs, all earned, on seven hits. He walked five and struck out three.

Mike Piechowski was victimized by four errors and some Texas League singles while giving up five runs in one inning; three of them were earned.

“It was just one of those nights,” said Trygstad. “None of their hits (in the sixth inning) were very good. They were falling in just out of the reach of our guys. Between the errors and the hits that fell in, that pretty much did us in.”

Jeff Schulz pitched the final three innings and held the Royals scoreless on two hits, walking three and striking out two.

“Jeff pitched pretty well again,” said Trygstad.

Eric Rupsa started and pitched the first seven innings for Rochester. Brian Koch closed out the final two innings. They combined to strike out 11 and walk one.

“We did not match with them tonight,” said Trygstad. “That sixth inning just killed us.”

The Colonels got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Brad Carlson led off with a bunt single, took second and an errant pickoff attempt and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Zac Oquist followed with a single up the middle.

In the seventh, anthony Lowman led off with a single, Phil Wacholz singled and Justin Kohn doubled for the Colonels’ only extra-base hit of the night.

Ryan Wangen was the only other Albert Lea player with a hit.

The Colonels had a couple nice defensive plays, including a 1-6-3 double play in the eighth with Schulz on the mound and David Dahl at shortstop. In the third, Aric Attig made a strong play at third base with a runner on second, faking a throw to first and getting the out on a run-down.

The Colonels fell to 2-4 in the league and 3-7 overall while the Royals improved to 3-1 and 8-4.

The Colonels host New Richland Friday at 7:30 at Hayek Field.

Royals 10, Colonels 2


020 107 000 – 10



Albert Lea

000 001 100 –




LP – Isaac Walton (2-1)