Tigers toss no-hitter to beat Panthers

Published 7:27 am Monday, May 18, 2015

With its first shutout of the season, the Albert Lea baseball team snapped a four-game losing streak and stayed perfect in Section 1AA.

Chris Enderson pitched a no-hitter to lead the Albert Lea baseball team to a 13-0 win over NRHEG Saturday in five innings at New Richland.

“Chris was throwing great,” said Tigers coach Joe Sczublewski. “He had a really good curve and fastball, and they had a hard time hitting.”

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Of the 15 outs Albert Lea made, nine were strikeouts by Enderson.

“Defense is a lot simpler when you don’t have to make outs in the field,” Sczublewski said.

Tucker Dempsey took the pitching loss for the Panthers.

The Tigers posted 10 hits. Jake Thompson, Wyatt Paulsen and Parker Mullenbach led the team with two hits each.

“We put the ball in play and put pressure on them,” Sczublewski said.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. A single to left field by Mason Hammer scored the first run, and a base hit by Alex Bledsoe knocked in Wyatt Paulsen.

In the second inning, the Tigers loaded the bases. E.J. Thomas and Paulsen hit two-RBI doubles, and Parker Mullenbach drove in Paulsen to give Albert Lea a 7-0 lead.

“That hit by Thomas opened the floodgates and got the ball rolling,” Sczublewski said. “We started fast, and they had a few miscues in the field that caused our innings to mushroom.”

NRHEG had seven errors, and Albert Lea had none.

As the only team in Subsection 2AA South without a section loss at 3-0, Albert Lea (9-10, 4-7 Big Nine) is the front-runner for the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Based on Minnesota-Scores.net’s Quality Results Formula, the Tigers are No. 18 in Class AA. Waseca is No. 2 in the subsection standings with a No. 52 QRF.

In Subsection 2AA North, Holy Family Catholic is the top team in the standings with a No. 8 QRF, and Glencoe-Silver Lake is No. 2 in the standings with a No. 10 QRF.

Next, Albert Lea will play its regular-season finale against Maple River at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hayek Field.

Maple River (5-12, 3-7 Gopher) is 1-6 in the section.