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Pirates down Spiders and Braves

Blue Earth remains alive in Region 6C double-elimination tournament

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Aug 15, 2021

The Cleveland baserunner just makes it back to the bag before first baseman Garrett Anderson applies the tag on the throw from pitcher Lee Hodges. Blue Earth won the game 11-2.

The Blue Earth Pirates baseball team remained alive in the Region 6C Tournament following two wins last week. The Pirates, who were beaten by the Eagle Lake Expos in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament, faced the St. Clair Wood Ducks in an elimination game on Friday, Aug. 13. Look for the results of that contest in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.

Blue Earth 9, Le Sueur 5

The Pirates played host to the Le Sueur Braves on Sunday, Aug. 8, at Veterans Field in Blue Earth.

Blue Earth was trailing Le Sueur 5-3 after five innings. The Pirates scored one run in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut the Brave’s lead to 5-4. The home team then erupted for five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to go on top of the Braves 9-5.

The Pirates’ starting pitcher, Garrett Anderson, gave up two singles to the Braves to start the eighth inning but then slammed the door by recording six straight outs to end the ballgame.

Anderson pitched all nine innings for the Pirates and allowed five earned runs on 11 hits. He struck out eight batters and walked four.

Anderson also drove in three runs, scored twice and had two hits in five plate appearances. TJ Schmidtke proved to be a tough out. He came to the plate five times and had five hits, scored twice and drove in two runs.

Brandyn Olsen, Kane Malo, Lee Hodges and Hunter Bleess each drove in one run. Kaylan Legred, Malo, Bleess and Cody Sukalski also had two hits each.

Blue Earth 11,

Cleveland 2

The Cleveland Spiders and the Blue Earth Pirates met on Saturday, Aug. 7, at Veterans Field in Blue Earth. The winner of the game would get to continue in the Region 6C playoffs while the loser of the game would see their season come to a close. In the end, it was the Pirates who would prevail by an 11-2 score.

Cleveland scored once in the top of the first inning but Blue Earth responded with five runs in the bottom of the first frame to take a 5-1 lead.

The Pirates added three more runs in both the second and third innings to increase their advantage to 11-1. Cleveland scored once in the top of the seventh inning to keep the game going and avoid a 10-run rule defeat.

Blue Earth’s five-run outburst in the bottom of the first inning began when TJ Stallman led off the inning with a walk against Cleveland’s starting pitcher Arlen Nett. An opposite-field single to right field by Kaylan Legred put runners on first and second base.

A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance a base. TJ Schmidtke’s single to left-center brought home both runners to put the Pirates on top 2-1.

The Spiders then recorded two consecutive outs on a fly ball to center field and a ground out to the shortstop which allowed Schmidtke to advance to second base.

Cleveland was only one out away from getting out of the inning. However, Lee Hodges walked and Hunter Bleess then hit a double down the right field line to score Schmidtke and put runners on second and third base.

Zach Schonrock drove in one run with a hit and an error on the play allowed another run to score to give the Pirates a 5-2 lead after one inning.

Stallman led off Blue Earth’s half of the second inning with a double. He scored when the Spiders committed an error on Legred’s bunt single. The error allowed Legred to reach third and he scored on a wild pitch.

Schmidtke then walked. Two passed balls enabled him to reach third base and a single by Kane Malo brought Schmidtke home with the third run of the inning and gave Blue Earth an 8-3 lead.

Cody Sukalski led off the bottom of the third inning for the Pirates with a bunt single. He stole second base and moved to third on an infield out. Schmidtke walked to put runners on first and third base.

With Garrett Anderson at the plate, the Spiders’ pitcher unleashed a wild pitch which allowed Sukalski to score and Schmidtke to move to second base. Anderson then launched a long fly ball for a homerun to increase the Pirates’ lead to 11-3.

Hodges was the starting pitcher for Blue Earth. The veteran right-hander threw five innings and gave up one run to earn the victory. Ryan Vereide came on to pitch in the sixth inning and hurled the final four innings to finish the game.

The loss ended Cleveland’s season while Blue Earth extended their season for at least one more game.