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Pirates rally for ninth inning win

Kane Malo’s clutch double drives in two runners in thrilling victory

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Jul 11, 2021

First baseman Garrett Anderson of the Pirates prepares to catch the baseball in a pick-off attempt of the Morristown runner. Blue Earth rallied in the ninth inning to defeat the Morries by a score of 4-3.

Kane Malo’s ninth inning, bases-loaded double drove in two runs to lift the Blue Earth Pirates to a 4-3 victory over the visiting Morristown Morries in baseball action Wednesday night, July 7.

The Pirates came to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning trailing the Morries 3-2. Morristown had scored one run in the top of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 deadlock.

The Morries retired the Pirates’s leadoff hitter to begin the ninth inning before Garrett Anderson reached base on an infield hit down the third baseline. TJ Stallman was up next and walked. Lee Hodges reached base on an infield hit to load the bases and set the stage for Malo’s heroics.

The third baseman hit the third pitch of his at-bat over the center fielder’s head allowing Anderson to score the tying run and Stallman to cross home plate with the winning run.

Lee Hodges started the game on the mound for Blue Earth and gave up two unearned runs in the first inning.

Morristown loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth inning but Hodges fanned the Morries batter for the final out to escape the inning unscathed.

The Morries mounted another two-out threat in the top of the fifth inning. They had runners on second and third base when their batter hit a screaming line drive right to Hodges who caught the ball and saved himself from injury.

Blue Earth scored their first two runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.

TJ Schmidtke and Brandyn Olsen both walked and Anderson reached first base on an infield hit to load the bases with zero outs. Following a strikeout, Hodges hit into a fielder’s choice with Schmidtke scoring and Olsen being forced out at third. Malo was up next and singled to drive in Anderson with the second run of the inning.

Anderson came on in relief of Hodges in the top of the sixth inning and promptly recorded a 1-2-3 inning. Anderson worked out of a one-out bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh inning to keep the score tied at 2-2.

The Morries scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning. A lead-off single followed by a sacrifice bunt gave Morristown a runner at second with one out. A single to center field gave the visitors a 3-2 lead and set the stage for the Pirates’ ninth-inning rally.

The final statistics showed the Pirates with four runs on six hits. They committed three errors. Morristown had three runs on eight hits. They were charged with one error.

Anderson picked up the win in relief and the Pirates improved their record to 10-8.

Blue Earth traveled to Jackson on Friday night, July 9, to take on the Bulls. They were on the road again on Saturday, July 10, when they traveled to Eagle Lake to take on the Expos. They will return home on Wednesday, July 14, for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Waseca Braves.

Check next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register for scores and updates on those games.