Sliding into second
Senior ace Logan Jahnke (1-1) surrendered just three hits and as many earned runs in Blue Earth Area’s first trip to the Fairgrounds Baseball Field diamond on Tuesday, April 11, but the Buccaneers (1-3) were blanked, 8-0, by Section 2AAA’s New Ulm (3-0) to fall under .500 early in the season.
The maroon and gold were scheduled to open their 2017 campaign at home, but field conditions forced them to play their April 4 debut, a 9-3 rout of Martin County West (MCW), in Winnebago.
Five days removed from a 13-3 defeat at the hands of Worthington (5-1), the Bucs could not replicate their Opening Day success from ‘Bago in Blue Earth on Tuesday, mustering just four hits and failing to plate a run against the undefeated Eagles.
Jahnke, who struck out four in two innings vs. MCW as BEA’s No. 1 pitcher to start the season, opened Tuesday’s clash with the upper hand against the Eagles, whiffing New Ulm’s first three batters at the top of the first inning.
But a 1-2-3 follow-up from the Bucs quickly sent things into the second frame, when the Eagles used a three-run rally to build momentum for the remainder of the evening.
Two errors helped New Ulm load up the bases, despite the Bucs escaping their Opening Day win without a single defensive mistake, and by the end of the third inning, BEA trailed by six.
Six walks factored into the equation, but only half of the runs allowed by Jahnke were credited as earned.
Junior Jared Kennedy took the mound in relief starting in the fourth and helped stop the bleeding, surrendering two runs over the game’s final four frames.
The Bucs offense, however, struggled to find the spark that nearly had them boasting a double-digit run total at the start of the year.
The team’s top three hitters in the lineup, the senior trio of stalwart catcher Kaylan Legred, second baseman Chris Sanders and outfielder-turned-third baseman Jesus Quintero, went a combined 0-for-9 at the plate. Starting outfielders Joe Schavey and Jordan Huse were also held without a base hit during the loss.
Senior first baseman Chris Jenkins, starting in place of Zac Schonrock, logged a single in the sixth inning to boost BEA’s hit total, while C.J. Bonin and designated hitter Trevor Oppedal combined for three hits as well.
Given a week’s rest after the 8-0 shutout defeat, the Buccaneers are slated to return to action on April 18, when they play host to St. Peter (2-3) at 5:30 p.m. on Fairgrounds Baseball Field.