Tigers walk to victory

Published 1:30 am Friday, April 2, 2010

The Albert Lea baseball team took advantage of the opportunities Waseca gave up Thursday and rolled to a 10-0 five-inning season-opening victory at Hayek Field.

The Tigers tallied just six hits in the game but used seven walks and four errors by the Bluejays to get their first victory of the year.

“It’s nice to win the first game of the year,” said Albert Lea head coach Joe Sczublewski. “(We) took advantage of some opportunities that were provided by their defense.”

Email newsletter signup

Senior Colby Strilaeff went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored while senior Luke Grossman went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two walks for Albert Lea. Grossman took a pitch deep to right field in the third inning to score two runs and helped provide timely hitting.

Though early, Strilaeff’s day at the plate signaled a good start after hitting a disappointing .143 last season.

Senior Jordan Cooper got the victory on the mound for the Tigers. Cooper threw three innings of one-hit ball and struck out two, despite struggling with his control. Strilaeff finished the game, throwing two innings of one-hit ball and striking out four of the seven batters he faced.

Albert Lea broke the game open in the third inning as the Tigers sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs on three hits.

The defense looked solid as well. Sophomore Dalton Westerlund threw a Waseca runner out at home from right field in the first inning and Jordan Mondeel made a nice running catch in the first inning as well.

“If we play defense like that we’re going to be tough to beat,” Sczublewski said.

Mondeel went 1-for-2 with three stolen bases.

“All and all you can’t be too disappointed going 10-0 in the opener,” Sczublewski said. “A lot of room for improvement though.”

Albert Lea travels to Winona Tuesday to face the Winhawks in the first conference matchup of the season.

Albert Lea 10, Waseca 0, 5 innings

Waseca 000 00x x — 0 2 4

Albert Lea 018 01x x — 10 6 0

WP — Jordan Cooper 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 2 K

LP —  Kyle Waugh 2 1/3 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K