Albert Lea takes John Marshall to extra innings

Published 3:42 am Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Albert Lea baseball team gave the team at second place team in the Big Nine Conference standings a scare Tuesday at Hayek Field.

The Tigers produced 16 hits and took Rochester John Marshall to an extra inning but lost 6-5.

“That was our high-water mark of the year for hitting, but we left a lot of runners on base,” said Albert Lea head coach Joe Sczublewski.

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Chris Enderson, Tristin Muilenburg and Johnathan Fleek split time on the mound for the Tigers.

“We were planning on letting all these guys throw,” Sczublewski said. “They did well against a tough lineup. Our pitching is getting really solid. When you throw strikes, good things happen.”

Enderson took the loss on the mound. He retired two batters and allowed a walk and earned run.

Johnathan Fleek led Albert Lea at the plate by going four-for-four with a double, two runs scored, an RBI and two stolen bases. Wyatt Paulsen added three hits and had a double and three RBIs.

After the Rockets took a 3-0 advantage in the top of the third, Albert Lea responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning. The Tigers took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth, 4-3.

Albert Lea almost out of the woods in the top of the seventh, but the Rockets scored the tying and go-ahead runs with two outs. The Tigers fought back again with a run in the bottom of the seventh to force an eighth inning. However, John Marshall scored a run in the top of the extra inning, and Albert Lea was unable to reciprocate.

“Coming back in the seventh, hopefully that’s a good sign,” Sczublewski said. “Our kids played hard. They kept coming back against a really good team. We just couldn’t hold onto the lead. All-in-all, it was a very exciting game.”

Next, Albert Lea (4-13 overall, 3-13 Big Nine Conference) will attempt to stop a 10-game skid by hosting NRHEG at 4:30 p.m. today. It will be the Tigers’ second Section 2AA South game of the season. Albert Lea is 1-0 in the section with a 5-3 win at Waseca on April 19.

Statistics are in the Scoreboard: May 20 post.