Albert Lea baseball continues losing slide after extra innings loss
The Albert Lea baseball team traveled to Fairmont Monday night in an effort to right the ship after losing the previous four games.
After heading into extra innings, the Tigers picked up four in the eighth, but were unable to stave off the Cardinals who picked up five, leaving the Tigers with a heartbreaking 7-6 loss.
It was a quick opening two innings for both teams, as only three baserunners reached base with none of them advancing past first base.
When it seemed as though the Tigers were going to exit the top of the third with no runs once again, a string of walks and singles turned the momentum. Junior Brennan Bakken started with a walk and was followed by senior Jack Jellinger hitting a single to shallow left field. Senior Blake Ulve was then walked, and with the bases loaded, senior Trevor Ball hit an infield single to take a 1-0 lead.
Fairmont took the lead for themselves in the bottom half of the inning, utilizing two singles and a walk to bring in two runs.
The Tigers answered right back, however, capitalizing on back-to-back errors in the top of the fourth, getting Ethan Ball across the plate to even the game at 2-2.
The rest of regulation was quiet as neither team put themselves in a position to score the go-ahead run. The game went into extra innings at a 2-2 tie.
The Tigers dominated the top half of the eighth, scoring four runs to take a 6-2 lead. Seniors Trevor Ball and Cody Yokiel started the inning with back-to-back walks, and were followed by a single from Ethan Ball. Again the Tigers capitalized on a bases-loaded situation, when junior Cam Davis hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Albert Lea padded their lead two at-bats later when sophomore Ben Kuiters hit a double that scored two runs. Bakken then hit a one-run single to give the Tigers a four-run lead heading into the bottom half of the inning.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, five walks, a hit-by-pitch and a double by the Cardinals in the bottom gave them just enough to win the game in walk-off fashion.
Junior Carter Miller started on the mound for the Tigers, pitching 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out six and walking one. Senior Caden Jensen and Jellinger both came in for relieving duties, combining to pitch 2.0 innings, allowing five runs on one hit, while striking out two and walking five.
Bakken, Jellinger, Trevor Ball and Ethan Ball all recorded multiple hits with two each. Kuiters had one hit.
As a team, the Tigers scored six runs on nine hits and committed zero errors. The Cardinals scored seven runs on seven hits and recorded three errors.
The Tigers move to 8-9 this season and have just one game remaining before the start of the Section 1AAA playoffs.