Bucs down Bluejays, 5-4
Mix good pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting together and you’ve got the recipe for a successful baseball team.
The Blue Earth Area Bucs put all of those ingredients together as they opened South Central Conference play with a 5-4 victory over the Waseca Bluejays Thursday night in Blue Earth.
“We were more aggressive today and fielded the ball well,” says head coach Todd Schmidtke. “The kids have a good attitude and continue to work hard.”
Garrett Anderson and Jared Smith combined for a solid pitching effort with Anderson recording 12 strikeouts in six innings to get the win. Smith came in to mop up in the last inning and although he gave up a run, he also recorded two ‘Ks,’ including one to end the game.
The defense was charged with one error and that happened in the last inning. They hung tough and made the plays when they needed to.
One such play occurred in the top of the fourth inning with the game knotted at 3-3.
With a runner on third and only one out, Anderson uncorked a wild pitch that bounced over catcher Collin Nienhaus and went to the backstop.
The Waseca runner broke for home but Nienhaus was able to get the ball and throw it to Anderson who tagged the runner out for a rare catcher to pitcher putout.
Dylan O’Rourke laced a double to left field to start off the Bucs half of the fourth inning. Corey Liebl moved O’Rourke to third with a sacrifice bunt.
Dalton Hurn followed with a walk and then stole second to put runners on second and third. Collin Nienhaus hit a sharp single to bring in both runners and give the Bucs a 5-3 lead.
Blue Earth Area jumped to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Mat Willner doubled to knock in Hurn and Nienhaus. Willner came across the plate courtesy of a hit by Anderson.
Things got a little interesting in the top of the seventh inning.
A slow roller to second resulted in an error allowing the Bluejays runner to reach first base.
The next batter drove one to deep center field that was chased down by O’Rourke. The Jays runner stole second, but Smith recorded out number two with a strikeout. The next batter hit a slow roller down the third base line for an infield hit to put runners on first and third with two out.
A hit over second base brought home one runner to make it 5-4 with runners on first and second.
Smith kept his composure and utilized an effective curve ball to strike out the last batter and preserve the 5-4 win for the Bucs.
The final line showed Waseca scoring four runs on three hits, while committing four errors while the Bucs scored their five runs on eight hits and were charged with one error.
Despite knocking in 10 runs, the Blue Earth Area Bucs baseball team lost their season opener last Tuesday night in New Richland.
BEA fell to NRHEG by a score of 12-10. The Bucs actually out-hit the Panthers 10-5 in the game.
The Bucs were hit with a lot of errors, causing some easy runs for the Panthers.
Pitching for BEA were Mat Willner and Corey Liebl. Both went three innings and both gave up six runs. Willner struck out two batters, but also gave up six walks.
Willner led the Bucs at the plate, going 3-for-4.
Jared Smith, Joe Franta and Dylan O’Rourke were all 2-for-4 at the plate.
The week the team travels to St. James on Tuesday, hosts St. Peter Thursday, travels to Maple River on Friday, and to Blooming Prairie on Saturday.