PREP BASEBALL: Tigers take opening DH

By Jeff Arenz

jarenz@marshallindependent.com

MARSHALL – Marshall defeated New Ulm 5-1 in Game 1 and Waseca 5-4 in Game 2 of a split doubleheader that featured a little bit of everything Saturday at Legion Field.

In the first game, Carl Douglas tossed a complete game, nine-hitter as the Tigers’ right-hander needed only 68 pitches to record the win. In the second game, Nate Hoeft drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off single in the seventh to give himself a pitching victory in relief.

By winning both games Saturday, Marshall is 2-0 for the first time since the 2007 season.

Game 1

The key for Douglas was that he issued only one walk.

New Ulm pitchers Jarin Spence, Jesse Baumgartner and Wyatt Peterson combined to give the Tigers 10 walks and a hit batsman in the form of Riley Sharbono. Marshall converted four walks and the hit-by-pitch into all five of its runs.

The Tigers went ahead 2-0 after one inning on sacrifice flies from Noah Winkelman and Douglas. Connor Winkelman and Bryce Johnson, who both drew walks to start the frame, came around to score.

Douglas wiggled out of a one-out bases-loaded jam in the second inning with the Eagles plating only one run as Tyler Dittrich’s RBI single fell in right field to score Grant Kannegiesser. Douglas rebounded to get Brach Kraus to hit a foul pop-up to MHS catcher Walker Werpy before retiring New Ulm lead`off hitter Judd Davis on a 6-4 fielder’s choice.

“Carl paid great attention to the strike zone and his defense was able to work to support him,” Marshall coach Chace Pollack said. “We didn’t make any errors against New Ulm. With this kind of pitching and defense, it’s a good sign.”

Leading 2-1, Marshall added single tallies in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

Brad Bahlmann’s double to right field chased home Noah Winkelman in the third. In the fourth, Noah Winkelman produced his second RBI of the game, a run-scoring single that scored Johnson. In the fifth, Johnson’s up-the-middle single sent Sharbono to the plate with the Tigers’ fifth run.

Douglas received help from the MHS defense, which ended New Ulm’s third inning on a 4-6-3 double play that went from Drew Hmielewski to Hoeft to Mason Campion. All three outs in the Eagles’ fourth were pop ups to the outfield.

New Ulm’s Tanner Kluis and Dittrich supplied two-out hits in the fifth and sixth innings, but the Tigers were able to crush the Eagles’ rallies each time. Davis led-off the seventh with a single, but Douglas retired Jackson Yackley, Kluis and Kannegiesser in order to end the game.

Game 2

Marshall came back from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 to defeat Waseca and win its second game Saturday.

Trailing 4-3 in the seventh, Hmielewski reached on an infield single that hugged the third-base line. He stole second, went to third on an infield error and scored the tying run when Noah Winkelman’s hit fell into center field.

After loading the bases, Marshall’s momentum took a severe turn when Brent Andries hit a sharp liner to drawn in second baseman Brett Wickersheim, whose throw to first base doubled off courtesy runner Conner Messman. But Hoeft lined a single to right field to score Noah Winkelman with the winning run.

“It was a fastball on the oustide part of the plate,” Hoeft said of the pitch Waseca’s Colby Sylvester threw to him. “I just wanted to go with it and I hit it to right field.”

Hoeft said he had never won a game with a walk-off hit before Saturday.

Hoeft was the winning pitcher after recording the final six outs. Taking the mound with runners on second and third in the sixth, he forced Stoesz to line into to a 6-5 double play before Jack Paczkowski grounded out to end the frame. In the seventh, Hoeft pitched around an error to give Marhsall a chance.

The Bluejays jumped on Tigers’ starting pitcher Adam Kovash, who lasted 1? innings on the mound, with three runs in Waseca’s first two at-bats.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the second, Connor Winkelman relieved Kovash before Ben Stoesz ended the threat by sending a sharp liner that Hmielewski caught at second base.

The Tigers tied the game 3-all in the third on infield ground outs from Noah Winkelman and Sharbono after Connor Winkelman produced Marshall’s first run of the game.

Waseca received a pair of infield hits in the fourth from Sylvester and Stoesz, who gave the Bluejays a 4-3 lead. With one out, Sylvester reached on an infield hit and was replaced by courtesy runner Michael Priebe, who went to second n a wild pitch and to third on a sacrifice fly. When Stoesz produced the second infield hit of the frame, Priebe scored.

MHS placed a runner at third with no outs in the first, but Waseca turned a double play on Sharbono’s fly ball. Attempting to score on the play, Noah Winkelman was tagged out by Bluejays catcher Max Kaplan, who caught a throw from left fielder Zak Kruger. The Tigers had a two-out rally with runners at second and third in the sixth, but that frame ended as Johnson took a third strike.

Waseca entered the season with a 25-game losing streak before defeating LeSeuer-Henderson 7-1 in its season opener Tuesday. The Bluejays lost 5-1 to St. James Area on Thursday before playing Marshall on Saturday.

Marshall hosts Pipestone Area in a Southwest Conference game Tuesday at Legion Field.

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