Murtha pitches well, Rock Bass fall 4-1 to MilbankThe Parkston Rock Bass had a short-lived state tournament, the first time the team qualified since 2009. Tommy Murtha, a hard-throwing lefthander, gave up nine hits, three walks and two earned runs in the 4-1 loss to Milbank. He recorded eight strikeouts and pitched well enough to win, but the Rock Bass defense — and offense — wasn’t able to give him much support.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
The Parkston Rock Bass had a short-lived state tournament, the first time the team qualified since 2009.
Tommy Murtha, a hard-throwing lefthander, gave up nine hits, three walks and two earned runs in the 4-1 loss to Milbank. He recorded eight strikeouts and pitched well enough to win, but the Rock Bass defense — and offense — wasn’t able to give him much support.
“If we make the plays, a couple plays that we have to make, I think it’s probably a 2-1 or maybe even a 1-1 game at the end,” Rock Bass manager Dan Jervik said. “ … I thought this should have been a classic game, because both pitchers pitched great, I thought.”
In 2009 at Cadwell Park in Mitchell, the Rock Bass lost a 10-9 second-round game against Flandreau, a game Murtha came in as a relief pitcher. At the same venue on Sunday, the Rock Bass got behind early and were knocked out of the first round.
Milbank scored one run in the first and third innings and added a two-run double in the seventh. Milbank starter Lance Frogner tossed eight innings, allowing four hits, four walks and striking out eight.
The lone run for the Rock Bass came in the top of the ninth, when James Boehmer scored from second on an RBI single from cleanup hitter Billy Hamilton.
No Parkston player had multiple hits. Audie Kuipers, a pickup player from Platte, Trevor Salmonson and Rich Wiese each had a single.
Milbank’s Jeff Fish, who struck out the side in the ninth, Mike Paulson and Matt Paulson each had two hits.
“They got on a couple of Tommy’s pitches that just found the green,” Jervik said.
Murtha and the Rock Bass got behind right away.
Ronnie Krause singled to open the bottom of the first for Milbank. He eventually scored on a balk, coming across when Murtha slipped during his windup and wasn’t able to release a pitch.
Fish scored in the third after reaching on a one-out double. While he was trying to steal, Hamilton fired wildly to third base and sent the ball down the left-field line. Fish’s run gave Milbank a 2-0 lead.
The Rock Bass stranded runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and Mike Paulson’s two-out seventh-inning double to right scored Fish and Bryan Appl for a four-run cushion.
NOTES: Wiese was ejected in the top of the ninth inning after being called out on strike three and arguing about the call. … Wiese pitched the bottom of the eighth and allowed one hit and he struck out one. … The last time the Rock Bass were in the state tournament, Brady Nolz started the game, which started on a Wednesday night and was delayed because of a thunderstorm. Murtha started on the mound when the game resumed the next day and took the loss.