Albert Lea comes back to win
Published 9:09 am Tuesday, June 7, 2016
With their season on the line, the Albert Lea baseball team was down to its final three outs against Red Wing Monday night.
Then, like the Tigers have all season, they found a way.
“These seniors have been through a lot of things in their careers,” said Tigers coach Joe Sczublewski.
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The Tigers have come back several times this season, but this latest rally was their finest moment, according to Sczublewski.
“The seniors kept it going,” he said
The Tigers rallied from a 7-4 deficit and scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning, then closed the door on the Wingers season in the bottom of the inning to win, 10-6, and advance to the section championship against Northfield.
The Tigers pounded out 19 hits and scored one run in each of the first four innings to give starting pitcher Blake Simon a 4-0 lead.
He responded to his team’s run support by getting in a groove early on, striking out six batters over the first three innings.
Then the fourth inning happened.
“He lost his control a bit and started to walk guys,” Sczublewski said.
Simon walked four guys in the fourth and gave up three hits that resulted in six runs for the Wingers.
Jacob Bordewick came on in relief and was able to settle things down. He gave up an unearned run in the fifth inning to make it 7-4.
He battled through two bases-loaded jams in the fifth and sixth inning, getting a double-play, 1-2-3 each time, to keep the game close.
“Those were huge plays,” Sczublewski said. “The game could have easily gotten away from us at that point.”
In the seventh inning, drama ensued.
Ben Witham led off with a single. Alex Bledsoe followed with a lineout. Jake Kilby singled, and a wild pitch scored Witham and sent Kilby to second. Sam Moyer coaxed a walk with one out. Bordewick, after his solid work on the mound, found a pitch he could handle and singled to right to load the bases.
In stepped Tanner Bellrichard. He had driven in six runs all season, but regular seasons mattered little on Monday night.
He got a pitch he could handle and smacked a two-run single to right-centerfield to tie the game.
Mason Hammer popped up, but Jake Thompson picked him up by crushing a double off the right field fence, and Bellrichard was alert enough to score on a bad throw to third base. Then it was Parker Mullenbach’s turn, and he walloped a double to bring home Thompson.
In the end, six runs cross the plate and Bordewick wrote the final chapter of the Wingers’ season.
The Tigers will be in action against Northfield in Red Wing today.
First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.