MMCRU baseball wins in walk-off fashion over HMS
REMSEN — It looked like the MMCRU baseball team was going to cruise to a win over Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn on Wednesday, July 8 in War Eagle Conference action. The team got out to a 5-0 lead through four innings, but the Hawks tied the game with a five-run fifth and then took the lead in the top of the seventh. The Royals came back in their last at-bat to get the win in dramatic fashion by a 7-6 score.
“I just got done telling the boys an ugly win is better than a pretty loss,” MMCRU Head Coach Cam Kuchel said.
Trailing by a run entering the bottom of the seventh, Branden Whited flared a single over the second baseman’s head to get the rally going for his third hit of the game. Jonah Petersen sacrificed the runner to second and the Hawks brought on Samuel Haack in relief of starter Jordan Ortega.
Derek Goth blooped a ball into shallow right, part of a perfect 4-for-4 night at the plate, to continue the rally. Number nine batter Brett Staab drew an intentional walk to load the bases after getting a pair of hits earlier in the game. KC Nicks then followed with a walk of his own to bring home the tying run. Nicks went 3-for-3 and drew two walks.
Colin Pick came next and connected on a ball which went right to the shortstop. While the Hawks might have been able to turn the double play to get out of the jam, the shortstop bobbled the ball and couldn’t make a play anywhere as the winning run scored.
The Royals had a similar opportunity in the fifth where a double play did end a bases-loaded opportunity as the pitcher fielded the ball, threw home and then the catcher got the out at first on the 1-2-3 double play.
The Royals got off to a good start with runs in each of the first four innings. Kuchel was happy with the offense which picked up 14 hits and five walks.
“Really all year, we’ve hit the ball pretty hard,” Kuchel said. “Even tonight we had some line drives right to guys. Getting another year older, another year stronger for us next year will help us in that aspect of hitting a few more gaps, hitting over the infield, but we’ve done a pretty good job for our youth in hitting the ball this season.”
Carson Pick went four scoreless innings with just one hit and one walk given up. He also struck out three before Kuchel had to take him out before the next pitch count threshold to allow him to return to the mound for Saturday’s (July 11) district opener.
All five runs came home against Colin Pick with an error on a pop up to the second baseman allowing the tying runs to score. Preston Astidias got the win by working the final two innings.
“Throwing Carson on the mound to start the game, he proved that he could shut them out and he pitched well enough to win,” Kuchel said. “Colin came in. He had a tough night, a few fundamental things, but I’m proud of him, he picked up his head and he put in that last run for us.”
Kuchel said coming back to get the win was critical for the young team’s confidence entering Saturday’s (July 11) district matchup against Trinity Christian.
“A win is huge for us. If we would have lost this game I don’t know how our youth would handle the adversity of coming off a tough loss heading into a big game Saturday,” Kuchel said. “I’m glad we gutted it out.”
MMCRU will take a 4-10 record into districts. The Royals lost to the Tigers 11-1 in six innings the first time around, but the team used two eighth graders and a freshman for the bulk of the innings in that contest.
MMCRU: Hits- 14; Walks- 5; 2B- Goth; 3B- None; HR- None; RBI- Co. Pick 2, Pepper 1, Ca. Pick 1, Goth 1; Pitching: Carson Pick- 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 Ks; Colin Pick 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K; Preston Astidias (W)- 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K.