Albert Lea baseball falls in doubleheader
Published 11:44 pm Wednesday, May 14, 2014
The skid grew to seven games for the Albert Lea baseball team Wednesday in a doubleheader of make-up games at Hayek Field.
The Tigers lost 11-2 against Owatonna in Game 1 and 11-3 against Mankato West in Game 2.
Owatonna is on top of the Big Nine Conference standings. Mankato West is fourth. All seven losses in the streak were against teams from the top half of the conference standings.
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However, Albert Lea gave the Huskies all they could handle through the first five innings. Owatonna took a two-run lead in the first, but Albert Lea tied the score in the bottom of the third when E.J. Thomas and Mason Hammer crossed the plate. Owatonna added one run in the fourth and fifth and exploded with five runs in the sixth.
Albert Lea sophomore right-hand pitcher Taylor Heavner started his first varsity game. In five innings, he struck out two batters and allowed seven hits, two earned runs and three walks.
“He worked out of several jams,” said Albert Lea coach Joe Sczublewski. “He was a competitor for his first time out there.”
Tyler Steele took the mound for the final two innings in relief. He struck out one batter and allowed four earned runs and two walks.
Jake Thompson led Albert Lea at the plate by going 2-for-4.
In Game 2, Mankato West jumped out to a two-run lead in the first and added five runs in the second and pushed their advantage to double digits in the third.
The Tigers responded in the bottom of the fourth with three runs, but they were unable to score the rest of the game.
“The first game led into the second game,” Sczublewski said. “Mankato West is a good team, and they were hitting the ball well. We played better after the first couple of innings, but the damage was done.”
Wyatt Paulsen, Jake Thompson and Tristin Muilenburg split time on the mound against
On the positive side, Sczublewski said Fleek stayed consistent at shortstop by making all the routine plays.
“He’s the best shortstop in the league,” Sczublewski said. “He’s solid, and he makes all the plays.”
The Tigers will look to gain some momentum for the postseason in their final five games.
Next, Albert Lea (4-10 overall, 3-10 Big Nine Conference) will play a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. Friday at Mankato East.
Rochester John Marshall is Albert Lea’s only remaining opponent in the top half of the conference. The Tigers will also play a non-conference game at NRHEG.