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Pirates eliminated by Wood Ducks

Played to 1-1 tie through nine innings before losing in extra stanza

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Aug 22, 2021

Pirates pitcher Lee Hodges prepares to throw a pitch towards home plate during a game in Blue Earth.

It took 10 innings to determine the outcome of the Region 6C elimination baseball game between the Blue Earth Pirates and the St. Clair Wood Ducks.

Unfortunately for the Pirates, it was the Wood Ducks who came away victorious, winning by a score of 2-1.

The game was played at Waterville with the Pirates being the visiting team on the scoreboard.

Hunter Bleess gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the second inning when his double drove in Garrett Anderson. Anderson had led off the inning with a single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by TJ Stallman.

Blue Earth threatened again in the fourth inning when Kane Malo singled and reached third base when St. Clair committed an error on a ball hit by Lee Hodges. However, the Wood Ducks worked their way out of the jam to keep the score 1-0 with the Pirates on top.

Over the last six innings the Wood Ducks’ pitching staff did a good job of shutting down the Blue Earth batters. The St. Clair pitchers faced only 19 batters in those six innings and ended the game recording 12 consecutive outs.

Meanwhile, the Wood Ducks managed to score one run in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the score at 1-1 but then were held scoreless until the final inning.

However, they began the bottom of the 10th inning with a double. The Pirates recorded a strikeout but then another double brought home the winning run and eliminated Blue Earth from the playoffs.

Hodges started on the mound for the Pirates and allowed one earned run on four hits in five innings of work. He struck out three batters and walked none.

Anderson relieved Hodges and also allowed one earned run. He gave up two hits and struck out 12 batters after taking over in the sixth inning.

Brandyn Olsen, TJ Schmidtke, Anderson, Malo, Hodges and Bleess each had one hit to account for Blue Earth’s six hits in the game.

According to their website, the Pirates finished the season with an overall record of 15-11.