Longhorns Stampede Tigers
In a game that would decide the second place finisher in the American Division of the Tomahawk East League, Stark came out with their bats blazing and never looked back. As they invoked the ten-run rule after seven innings, beating Springfield 21-4.
Springfield blasted their way out to a one run lead when Ryan Sturm launched a homer into the corn beyond the leftfield fence. Tiger starter Jake Miesen ran into trouble in the bottom of the second. Stark answered with six runs on four hits. They were aided by three Tigers errors on one play. That foreshadowed how the night would go for Springfield. However, the Tigers didn't just roll over after getting down 6-1. They got the bases loaded in the top of the third, but were unable to cut into the Longhorn lead.
Miesen faced just four batters in the bottom of the third and it looked like things might calm down. They were only just beginning! Miesen gave up back-to-back hits to start the bottom of the fourth before the Tigers went to the bullpen and brought in Kyle Kraska. Stark proceeded to score seven runs on a total of five hits, including a grand slam in the inning.
With the score at 13-1, Springfield went to the bullpen again and brought in Marty Brandl to eat up a couple innings. Stark added three runs to their lead in the bottom of the fifth on four hits and a Tiger error. The Tigers were able to get one run back in the top of the sixth when Bob Fink was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a ground out. Brandl drove him in with a solid single to make the tally, 16-2.
The Longhorns added five more runs in the bottom of the sixth on three hits, including another grand slam, two walks and a hit batter. Even though they were down 21-2, the Tigers still didn't quit. In the top of the seventh, the Tigers plated two runs on hits by Kraska, Brandon Wilhelmi, Sturm, and Matt Baier. Sturm's hit was another smash that one-hopped its way over the centerfield fence for a double. The two Tiger runs made the final, 21-4.
Some positives can be taken from this ugly game, including a good offensive
attack that included nine hits over seven innings and how the Tigers still
scored some runs after getting down by double digits. With the loss, the
Tigers finish the regular season in third place with a 13-9 record. That
means they will open the playoffs with a best-of-three game series against the
Gibbon Reds starting Friday night in Springfield. The series will travel
to Gibbon on Sunday and then back to Springfield for a Wednesday match-up, if
necessary. Come on down to Riverside Park to cheer on the Tigers Friday
night at 8:00pm!
|B. Wilhelmi, CF/SS||3||1||1||0||1||1|
|R. Sturm, 1B||4||1||2||2||0||2|
|A. Wilhelmi, RF||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Miesen (L, 1-2)||3||7||8||6||1||1|