Diede Ks Twelve to Lead Tigers to Round Two
Springfield made their last State Tournament appearance in 1998. Three of the players who remain from that team had big days on Sunday to lead the Tigers on their first step back there. Jon Diede pitched eight solid innings, striking out twelve. Jesse Berg closed the door in the ninth picking up the save and Bob Fink led the offense with three hits, a run scored and an RBI.
The Tigers got on the board in the top of the first. Kyle Kraska led off with a walk. Matt Baier followed with a single. Brady Schwab moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Kraska scored on a wild pitch to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Gibbon scored a run of their own in the bottom of the inning when they got a two-out walk followed by a double.
The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the third when the Reds put together three hits to take a 2-1 lead. The Tigers weren't down long. They rallied to tie the score in the fourth. Fink led off with a solid base hit. Matt Tews moved him over the second with a sacrifice bunt. Berg singled to give the Tigers runners at first and third. Andy Moritz picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly, trying the game at two.
The Reds got runners on second and third, but were unable to score in the bottom of the fourth. Diede stepped up in the fifth through seventh innings, striking out six Gibbon batters in a row. Springfield gave Jon the lead in the top of the seventh on hits by Baier and Ryan Sturm. The Tigers took advantage of two Gibbon errors in the inning to gain a 4-2 lead. Diede walked the lead-off batter in the bottom of the eighth. A wild pitch moved him to second and he came around to score on a base hit, cutting the Springfield lead to one.
Jesse Berg came on in the bottom of the ninth and continued his dominance in the series. He struck out the first two batters of the inning, before Gibbon's season came to an end on a fly ball to centerfield. Berg picked up his first save of the year.
Tiger shortstop Kyle Kraska did not get a hit in the game, ending his seventeen game hitting streak. He'll look to start a new streak as Springfield moves on to round two of the Tomahawk East League playoffs. They will begin another best-of-three game series on Friday against Stark at 8pm. The Tigers split the season series with the Longhorns and will look to avenge the thumping they took from the Longhorn bats in the final game of the regular season. Come on over, have a "Stark Burger" and cheer on the Tigers!
|R. Sturm, 1B||4||0||2||0||1||2|
|Diede (W, 3-0)||8||8||3||3||3||12|
|Berg (SV, 1)||1||0||0||0||0||2|