Draftees Lead Tigers To Game One Victory
Teams that make the region tournament are allowed to draft two players from teams that have been eliminated to either pitch or catch for them as they try to make their way to the state tournament. Draftees, Colby Pack and Brian Hertling did a great job on the hill Sunday night for the Tigers, combining to allow just one run, as Springfield took game one of the best-of-three region tournament series against Essig, 3-1.
Both starting pitchers did a good job keeping the other team off the scoreboard, with neither team scoring until the Tigers broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jon Diede and Brandon Wilhelmi led off with base hits. Matt Tews laid down a nice bunt that went for a hit to load the bases. Kyle Kraska reached on a fielder's choice with Diede being thrown out at the plate. Matt Baier knocked in the first Tiger run with a ground ball to shortstop. Essig got the force out at second, but Baier beat the throw to first as they attempted to turn an inning-ending double play. Wilhelmi came in to give Springfield a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers were only able to get one run off Bluejay starter Terry Helget. They had numerous chances, leaving two runners on base in each of the first five innings. The Tigers finally managed to extend their lead in the bottom of the eighth. Wilhelmi worked a one-out walk. Tews moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Kraska came to the plate and came through in another clutch situation. He smashed a triple down the left field line giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Baier followed with a single, scoring Kraska and giving Springfield a three-run cushion.
Colby Pack scattered just four hits through his first eight innings of work. Things got interesting in the ninth inning when the first four Bluejay batters reached on three hits and a walk. With the score 3-1, Springfield made the call to the bullpen and brought in Brian Hertling to close the door. Hertling struck out the first batter he faced. With the bases still loaded, Terry Helget hit a screamer right to first baseman Ryan Sturm, who touched the bag for a game-ending double play.
The win gives the Tigers a one game to none lead in the best-of-three region tournament series. They will travel on Wednesday night to battle Essig in Sleepy Eye, as the Essig ballpark does not have lights for the midweek evening match-up. Swing over to Sleepy Eye to support the Tigers! Game time is 8:00pm!
|R. Sturm, 1B||1||0||1||0||2||0|
|Pack (W, 1-0)||8||7||1||1||1||5|
|Hertling (SV, 1)||1||0||0||0||0||1|