Tigers take down Rockets

Published 8:35 pm Thursday, April 23, 2015

Albert Lea's Jacob Kilby throws out a pitch Thursday against Rochester John Marshall at Hayek Field. Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Jacob Kilby throws out a pitch Thursday against Rochester John Marshall at Hayek Field. — Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

A timely hit was the difference in the Albert Lea baseball team’s second one-run win of the season.

Alex Bledsoe hit a double to right center field to score Tanner Bellrichard for the go-ahead run on Thursday, and the Tigers beat Rochester John Marshall 3-2 at Hayek Field.

“He’s playing outstanding as a sophomore,” said Albert Lea coach Joe Sczublewski about Bledsoe. “He rose to the occasion.”

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Along with going 2-for-3 at the plate, Sczublewski said Bledsoe excelled on the infield as well.

“The play of the game was a diving back-handed grab at third,” he said. “It was a beautiful snag for the first out of the fifth inning.”

From the mound, Jake Kilby went the distance. After a rocky start, he settled down and struck out three batters and allowed two hits, two earned runs and eight walks.

“He battled through a really tough first inning with four walks and two wild pitches,” Sczublewski said. “But he got out of the inning, and we just played fantastic defense behind him. You’ve got to compliment Jakob for staying focused on the mound.”

Albert Lea’s only error was in the sixth inning on a first-base overthrow, but Sam Moyer raced from behind the dish to salvage the play.

“Our catcher hustled to back up the throw at first, and he gunned down the runner at second,” Sczublewski said. “A bad play becomes a good play with hustle.”

The Tigers had seven hits. E.J. Thomas tied Bledsoe with a team-high two. Wyatt Paulsen, Parker Mullenbach and Bellrichard added one each.

Next, Albert Lea (3-5, 3-4 Big Nine) will play at 5 p.m. at NRHEG (5-2, 4-1 Gopher).

Just like the Tigers, the Panthers are on a two-game winning streak.