Tigers Top Searles In Extra Inning Battle
The Tigers entered the game Sunday night with second place in the division and a first-round bye within grasp. It took eleven innings, but they battled back and kept their chance of second place alive. The win also assured them of no worse than a third place finish.
Jon Diede took the hill for Springfield. Searles got on the board first in the third, putting together three hits, a walk and a couple of sacrifice flies to take a 3-0 lead. Springfield got their first hits of the game and evened things up with three runs of their own in the bottom of the forth. The Tigers loaded the bases on two Searles errors and a single by Matt Baier. Diede forced in the first Springfield run when he was hit by a pitch. Brandon Wilhelmi tied the game with a two-run single up the middle.
Searles regained the lead in the top of the fifth when they got runners on first and third. The runner at first attempted a steal of second and was thrown out by catcher Andy Moritz, but the runner from third came in the score, giving Searles a 4-3 lead.
Matt Tews relieved Diede in the top of the seventh. Springfield tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Tews led off with a single and moved to second on an error. Kyle Kraska came through with a clutch two-out base hit evening the score at four. Searles struck again in the top of the ninth, getting a lead-off base hit. After getting one out, Tews gave up a double to right-center that gave the Grizzlies a 5-4 lead.
It was do-or-die time for the Tigers in the bottom of the ninth. Wilhelmi drew a one-out walk and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Moritz. That brought up Kraska, who again came through with a key hit. This time Kraska smashed a double down the left field line, driving in Wilhelmi and tying the game at five. The teams exchanged zeroes in the tenth inning.
In the top of the eleventh, Searles led off with a base hit. They moved the runner up with a sarifice bunt. Tews struck out the next batter, before the Grizzlies took the lead, yet again, with a single. Tews struck out the final batter and the Tigers went to the bottom of the eleventh again needing to score at least one run. Wilhelmi started the inning with a single. Moritz laid down another bunt to move him up to second. Kraska reached on a Searles error, giving the Tigers runners at first and third. Kraska stole second and Chris Sturm grounded out for the second out of the inning. The Tigers were down to their final out when Brady Schwab came to the plate. Schwab was behind in the count 1-2, when he dropped a single into left field which scored Wilhelmi and Kraska to give the Tigers the big win.
Tews earned the victory, his sixth of the season. The Tigers record now
stands at 13-8. They will travel to Stark on Tuesday night with a lot on
the line. The winner of that game will finish in second place and earn a
first-round bye. The loser of the game will open the first round of the
playoffs on Friday in a best-of-three series against Gibbon. Swing on over
to Stark Tuesday night and cheer on the Tigers as they take on the Longhorns!
|C. Sturm, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1|
|R. Sturm, 1B||5||1||0||0||0||0|
|Tews (W, 6-2)||5||4||2||2||0||4|