Alexandria tops Groton, advances to quarterfinals
By OWEN REITZEL
Gau pitched eight innings, giving up no runs and four hits, while striking out seven. Gau also went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in the win.
“I got into a rhythm and kept the pace going,” Gau said. “Like most teams, (Groton) tried to call time and get me out of rhythm, but I just don’t let it affect me.”
Alexandria will take on Larchwood at 6 p.m. Friday in the quarterfinals, while Groton is eliminated from the tournament.
The Angels (24-3) got out of an early jam in the first inning before coasting to a 7-0 shutout victory.
Gau gave up a double to the first batter of the game, Groton’s Chad Ellingson. But a groundout and two strikeouts later, Gau got the Angels out of the jam.
Peyton Smith singled for Alexandria and after a stolen base, Gau delivered with his first double, putting the Angels on the board in the first inning.
Alexandria took a 2-0 lead in the second after Cole Wenande drove in John Greicar with an RBI single. Greicar got on base on a walk.
Gau gave up a second-inning single, but only gave up two singles and no walks over the next six innings.
For Angels player/manager Chris Marek, it was no surprise that Gau pitched well.
“We expected him to come out and throw a game like that,” said Marek. “He commanded all of his pitches and worked ahead in the count. Anything you get out of your pitcher is a bonus, but he’s been doing that all year.”
Alexandria added a run in the fifth inning on a double by Tyson Gau and a single by Jordan Gau. The Angels then put the game away with two runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings.
Marek relieved Tyson Gau in the ninth and after Groton loaded the bases. Marek invoked a game-ending double play to preserve the shutout.
“Our defense played exceptionally well tonight,” said Marek, who had a two-RBI triple in the game. “We turned a couple of double plays and that keeps down the momentum for the other team.”
Cory Marek went 2-for-3, Jordan Gau went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Wenande and Smith each added two hits for the Angels, who tallied 13 total hits.
Groton pitcher Matt Erickson took the loss on the mound, giving up five runs on 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings. Erickson recorded eight strikeouts.