Klatt reprises role for Tigers in win

Published 4:15 am Friday, April 9, 2010

With two runners on in the fourth inning in a tight ballgame Albert Lea junior Aaron Klatt found himself in a familiar position and he did what he’s done in the past.

Last season Aaron Klatt hit a three-run homer to right center field to help the Albert Lea baseball team to a comeback victory over Rochester Mayo and Klatt did it again Thursday for the Tigers in a 13-9 victory that gave Albert Lea its first conference victory of the season.

Klatt’s three-run homer in the fourth inning Thursday helped put Albert Lea (2-0, 1-0 Big Nine) on top for good and he also got it done on the mound against the Spartans at Hayek Field.

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Tigers senior Jordan Mondeel broke a 5-5 tie with a solo shot to center field and three batters later Klatt crushed one over the wall for his first homer of the season.

“What sparked it was Mondeel’s home run first because we all got confidence,” Klatt said. “We’re just getting more confidence at the plate. We came out here expecting a close game. Didn’t expect them scoring nine runs and us still win.”

Klatt’s bat started closing the door on Mayo, but his arm finished shutting the door as he pitched the final four innings to also pick up his first victory of the season in relief of starter Cole Sorenson.

“He seems to have their number, maybe,” said Albert Lea head coach Joe Sczublewski.

The five-run fourth came after the Spartans rallied to tie the game and killed any momentum Mayo might have grabbed from tying the game.

The Tigers scored 10 or more runs for the second consecutive game and tallied 14 hits in a game where nearly the entire lineup had a hit.

“Up and down the lineup, we’ve got a pretty solid lineup,” Sczublewski said. “It’ll take a good pitcher to shut us down.”

Jordan Cooper went 2-for-2, Carter Kortan went 3-for-4, while Klatt finished 2-for-4, as did Colby Strilaeff. Mondeel went 2-for-5 as the other Albert Lea player who had a multi-hit game.

The Tigers grabbed their first lead in the second inning with a five-run outburst, beginning with Klatt’s leadoff single. One batter later J.T. Bellrichard walked and Sorenson hit a two-run double.

Mondeel added an RBI single and Luke Grossman followed with an RBI on a fielder’s choice.

The Spartans mounted a rally in the top of the seventh when they scored four run as Klatt labored to retire the side. Steve Serratore connected for a three-run homer and Mayo got another run on a fielding error.

Albert Lea travels to Winona Friday.

Albert Lea 13, Mayo 9

Mayo 005 000 4 —  9 7 2

Albert Lea 050 521 x — 13 14 2

WP—Aaron Klatt 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

LP—Rannon Arch 4 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K