Tigers stay on top of conference

Published 12:39 am Friday, May 14, 2010

After getting rained out on Tuesday the Albert Lea baseball team looked anxious to get back to the diamond Thursday as the Tigers made up for an earlier loss to John Marshall with a 9-4 victory over the Rockets in Rochester.

Albert Lea’s offense got rolling early and grabbed a 5-0 lead after the top half of the third inning and junior starter Aaron Klatt continued his streak of dominant starts.

The Tigers tallied 13 hits against Rockets starter Jeff Sipple, who limited them to six hits and three runs in John Marshall’s 5-4 victory April 20 in Albert Lea.

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“We took the ball where it was pitched very effectively,” said Tigers head coach Joe Sczublewski. “We were a lot more patient against this guy than we were last time and that was a key part of our success.”

Senior Luke Grossman went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs in the second inning while senior Colby Strilaeff went 3-for-4 with an RBI and junior Carter Kortan finished 2-for-2 with an RBI.

Klatt struck out 10 and gave up four runs, one earned, on six hits.

“He threw very well once again,” Sczublewski said. “He had excellent stuff on the ball tonight. He was pretty dominant.”

The Tigers (11-3, 10-3 Big Nine), who cracked the state rankings this week at No. 17, kept their hold on the Big Nine Conference with the victory. Albert Lea and Owatonna both have three losses in the conference following the Huskies’ loss to Mankato West Saturday in Owatonna.

The Tigers face New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Friday in New Richland.

Albert Lea 9, John Marshall 4

Albert Lea 041 002 2 — 9 13 2

John Marshall 003 000 1 — 4 6 3

WP—Aaron Klatt 7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K