Late rally lifts Angels over Lake Norden 5-2Trailing 2-0 after seven innings, Alexandria scored five runs in the final two frames to come away with a 5-2 win over Lake Norden Tuesday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell and advance to the quarterfinals of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
Trailing 2-0 after seven innings, Alexandria scored five runs in the final two frames to come away with a 5-2 win over Lake Norden Tuesday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell and advance to the quarterfinals of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament.
“We’ve struggled a little bit offensively this year,” Angels manager Chris Marek said. “We finally put a few guys on base and got a timely hit.
“We have the lineup to do it, it was just a matter of doing it.”
Along with managing the team, Marek also picked up the win on the mound for Alexandria. He picked all nine innings, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out 11.
Marek said he didn’t think he had his best velocity with the fastball, but used location of his pitches to hold down the Lake Norden offense.
“I could spot up my fastball, my curveball and my changeup,” he said.
The first run of the game didn’t come until the bottom of the seventh inning when Lake Norden’s Ty Fuller hit a two-out single to right.
Mick Tulson, who had singled earlier in the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch, came around to score.
Angels left fielder Peyton Smith tried cutting Tulson down at the plate, but Tulson slid into home as the ball arrived and catcher Cory Marek was unable to hang on to the ball.
Fuller made it to second on the play and would score on Jordan Johnson’s single to right immediately after. Smith had another opportunity to try throwing out a runner at the plate but his throw was too high and the run scored easily.
Alexandria answered right back and tied the game at 2 with a couple of runs in the eighth inning.
Cory Marek led off the eighth with a hit by pitch and after Cole Wenande walked Smith was called to lay down a bunt.
Smith’s bunt was placed down the third base line and he was able to beat the throw to first to load the bases with no outs.
Jordan Gau, who was 0-for-3 at the plate, stepped up and recorded the first RBI for Alexandria with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Chet McManus. McManus was running for Cory Marek as the courtesy runner as catchers are not required to run the bases during amateur baseball games.
“In those situations you just try to get something to the outfield,” Gau said.
Gau would come up big in another similar situation in the ninth.
Chris Marek tied the game with a bases-loaded walk in the eighth and in a tie game in the ninth Gau was at the plate with one out and the bases loaded yet again.
Gau came up with two more RBIs with a deep double to left and the Angels would get a third run in on the play as Lake Norden shortstop Chris Schaefer threw the ball away attempting to record an out at third base.
“I knew he was going to try throwing a first pitch strike and I got something I could handle,” Gau said. “I just went up to the plate with confidence.”
Despite throwing all nine innings in a 1-0 win in the opening round Friday night, Johnson took the mound for Lake Norden Tuesday.
Johnson had another quality start, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks in eight innings.
“He’s a great pitcher and he can do that,” Lake Norden’s manager Burt Tulson said.
Johnson was relieved by Tim Kuphal in the ninth, although Burt Tulson said it had nothing to do with Johnson being worn out.
“His arm was feeling good,” he said. “He wanted to start the ninth and as it was it was probably a bad decision on my part.”
Kuphal took the loss, allowing two hits, one walk and two earned runs in one inning.
Notes: Smith was Alexandria’s lone batter with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-5. Lake Norden’s Ty Fuller was 2-for-4. … Although Alexandria was unable to throw runners out at home on Lake Norden’s two scoring plays, the Angels’ outfielders did record two assists. Smith threw out Tony Campbell in the first inning when Campbell tried to stretch a single into a double and centerfielder Casey Solem threw Evan Erickson out at third base. Erickson stole second base and the ball was thrown into centerfield as no Alexandria fielder was covering the base. Seeing the errant throw, Erickson attempted to advance to third before being thrown out. … Lake Norden’s Mick Tulson was called out on strike three in the fourth inning on a pitch that manager Burt Tulson said struck his batter. Mick and Burt Tulson argued the call to the home plate umpire and Burt Tulson said the umpire said he saw the ball make contact with Mick Tulson in the strike zone. Arguing any type of decision on balls and strikes can warrant an ejection from the umpire, however no ejections were given.