Tigers continue winning ways, move to 3-0

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2006

MANKATO &045;&160;Thanks to clutch hitting, sound defense and good pitching the Albert Lea baseball team pulled out a 10-9 victory over Mankato West on Tuesday night. The Tigers were trailing at several points of the game but rallied for the win.

It is the second one-run conference victory of the young season for the Tigers

MW controlled the early innings of the game as they took a 5-1 lead into the third frame. Albert Lea’s bats sprung to life in the third driving in four runs to tie up the game.

Ben Berhow went shopping in the third inning when he smacked a monster two-run home run that landed at the shopping mall across the street from the field.

Mankato came right back at AL and scored four runs over the next two innings to take a 9-5 lead.

The Tigers had another rally left in the tank and in the sixth inning they scored another four runs to knot up the game.

Arik Matson hit a double that drove in one of the runs and Nick Bunz hit a sacrifice fly to get another run across the plate.

In the seventh inning, D.J. Kjos hit a double to set the Tigers up to score the winning run and, with two outs, Jake Villarreal cracked a single that would score Kjos with the game-winning run.

&8220;The kids really kept their focus and pulled out a big victory,&8221; said AL head coach Joe Sczublewski.

The Tigers went through three pitchers in the game. Josh Jordahl pitched the final three innings and completely shut down Mankato’s offense. He recorded four strikeouts and two walks.

The Tigers did not commit any fielding errors and have been error free for two consecutive games.

AL’s bats were on fire all night. Matson was 3-for-4 including two doubles. Berhow was 2-for-4 with one home run and Villarreal was 2-for-2. All told the Tigers had 12 hits in the game.

&8220;The offense really stepped up, we hit the ball well all night,&8221; said Sczublewski.

The conference win puts the Tigers at 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big Nine. They will be up against Winona on Thursday night.

The AL B-squad played a close game that went into extra innings. The Tigers pulled out a 4-3 win thanks in large part to the pitching of Adam Royce. Royce struck out 11 batters in the game.