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Expos rally to down Pirates 7-5

Blue Earth suffers their first loss in double-elimination tournament

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Aug 8, 2021

Hunter Bleess almost gets hit in the head with the baseball while stealing second base in the Blue Earth Pirates’ game against the Eagle Lake Expos. The Expos rallied to defeat the Pirates 7-5 in the opening game of the Region 6C playoffs.

The Eagle Lake Expos scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning to erase a three-run deficit and added another run in the top of the seventh inning to defeat the Blue Earth Pirates 7-5. The game was played in Blue Earth on Sunday, Aug. 1, and was the first game for both teams in the double-elimination Region 6C Tournament.

Blue Earth scored first when they tallied a run in the bottom of the second inning.

Lee Hodges led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a single by Hunter Bleess. Hodges scored when Cody Sukalski hit into a fielder’s choice to the second baseman who threw to the shortstop to force Bleess out at second base.

Eagle Lake took the lead in the top of the third inning. The Expo’s lead-off batter reached base on a bunt single but was picked off when he got caught too far off of first base by catcher Kaylan Legred. The Expos got another single before their next batter was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Blue Earth’s starting pitcher Garrett Anderson then walked a batter to load the bases.

Eagle Lake’s next batter hit a sinking line drive in front of a diving Cody Sukalski in center field. The resulting single brought home two runs to give the Expos a 2-1 lead.

The score would remain the same until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Pirates scored four times on four hits.

Legred led off the inning with a double before TJ Schmidtke laid down a perfectly-placed bunt for a single to put runners on first and third. Walks to Anderson and Kane Malo brought home the first run of the inning. The Pirates scored again when Hodges singled to right field. Another single to right field, this one by TJ Stallman, plated two more runners to give Blue Earth a 5-2 lead.

Eagle Lake did not waste any time regaining the lead. A lead-off double in the top of the sixth inning was followed by a home run to cut the Pirates’ lead to 5-4. Following a strike out, the Expos put together three consecutive singles to load the bases. A slow roller to the shortstop resulted in a force out at second base which brought home Eagle Lake’s fifth run of the game. A Pirates error on a grounder allowed one more run to score to give the Expos a 6-5 lead.

Eagle Lake added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning to make the final score 7-5 in favor of the Expos.

The Pirates’ next game was played at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, against the Cleveland Spiders, in Blue Earth. The winner of the game remained alive in the tournament while the loser would see their season come to an end.

Check next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register for the results of the Pirates vs. Spiders contest.