Pirates one win from State
The Blue Earth Pirates won their first two games in the Region Tournament, propelling them to the championship game scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 16 in Montgomery.
Over the weekend of Aug. 8 and 9, the Pirates defeated the Montgomery Mallards 7-2 on Saturday, then followed it with a thrilling come-from-behind 10-9 win against Waterville on Sunday.
Against the Waterville Indians, the Pirates jumped out to a commanding 7-0 lead after the first three innings.
Waterville came back, however, scoring three runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and three more in the sixth to take a one-run, 8-7 lead over Blue Earth.
The Indians added one more run in the top half of the ninth inning for a two run advantage, but it would prove to not be enough.
The Pirates pulled out the win by scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth. They got two runners on with walks, then had three hits in a row, including a bunt single.
The Indians out-hit the Pirates 13-12 in the game. Leading the Pirates was Daniel Woodall who went 3 for 4, and Lee Hodges who was 3 for 5 with three RBI.
T.J. Stallman was 2 for 3 with a big four RBI game.
Aaron Wendt was the starting pitcher for the Pirates, going 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five runs on eight hits. He struck out three and walked three.
Cody Sukalski came in for one inning, giving up three runs on three hits. Vinnie Vanenglinberg pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, giving up one run on two hits. He struck out four and walked three.
In the first game the day before, Hodges pitched eight innings, giving up the two runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked three.
Vanenglinberg pitched one inning, striking out three batters.
The Pirates had a narrow 2-0 lead after five innings, when the Mallards tied it in their half of the sixth inning, 2-2.
Blue Earth came roaring back with five runs on five hits in the sixth to gain the 7-2 winning score.
Stallman had the hot bat, going a perfect 3 for 3 at the plate, including a grand slam home run in the big sixth inning.
The Pirates hit four doubles in the game, including two by Wendt. Woodall and Hodges also each nailed a two-bagger.
In all, the Pirates had 14 hits, doubling the Mallards output of seven.
The two victories gave the Pirates a clear path to the championship game on Aug. 16. They gained a bye from any game play on Saturday.
Their opponent for Sunday’s game will be one of four teams which will play in three games on Saturday.
The Pirates face the Saturday games winner at 2 p.m. in Montgomery. If another game is needed, it would be played at 5 p.m. that same day.
Details on the championship game will be in next week’s Faribault County Register.