It was all Alexandria, all the time on Monday.
The Angels received another solid outing from Tyson Gau and their bats produced at the plate en route to a 10-3 win over Tabor during the Class B state amateur baseball tournament at Cadwell Park. Alexandria will now face Mount Vernon or Milbank at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
On Monday, Gau struck out six batters, scattered four hits and allowed one earned run in his seven-inning start. At the plate, nine different players accounted for 12 hits to complement Gau on the mound.
“We always know that we are going to have confidence with the starting pitching that we are going to get and we are going to make plays defensively,” Alexandria manager and catcher Chris Marek said. “If we can just go out and put some hits together, score some runs, we are confident that we were going to put ourselves in a good situation and that’s what we did. We put hits together to score runs and put big some big innings together. We gave him a little bit more leeway and confidence on the mound.”
Gau received some run support in the third inning thanks to John Greicar. The Dakota Wesleyan University coach blasted a two-out, three-run home run over the 340-foot left field fence.
“That was pretty nice to say the least,” Gau said. “Greicar has been hitting the ball really good all year and if it’s not him, it’s somebody else. It was big, we needed that. The pitcher (Colin Muth) was just kind of hitting his spots and Johnny had a good battle there and he hit the ball hard.”
Greicar said he was just trying to get something in play on the 1-2 pitch.
“That was kind of the plan to score early and he did a good job shutting us down for the first few innings,” Greicar said. “So it felt good to get a lead and build on that.”
It helped jumpstart the Alexandria offense. In the fourth inning, Reid Smith smacked an RBI triple for a 4-0 advantage. In the sixth inning and seventh innings, Alexandria plated three runs apiece.
Reid Smith, Jerod Zens and Marek finished with two hits apiece. Peyton Smith, Cole Wenande, Gau, Pierce Smith and Riley Hoffman (Platte pick-up player) each had a hit.
“The bottom half of the order did a good job getting on base,” Greicar said. “I think they probably had five or six hits together combined, which is always nice. That’s nice when the whole team is hitting and everybody is kind of contributing.”
Jordan Gau -- Tyson Gau’s brother -- came on in relief in the eighth inning. Jordan finished with 84 pitches and 59 strikes.
“I haven’t thrown for it seems like two weeks,” Tyson Gau said. “You could definitely tell right away I wasn’t hitting my spots, and even toward the end of the game, legs were kind of weaker, but once I got into my groove, I felt a lot more comfortable up there.”
It’s the second starting Alexandria pitcher to throw an effective performance. Starter Ethan Davis logged 87 pitches in the first game against Tabor.
“We haven’t had to really use the depth of pitching we have right now,” Marek said. “So coming into this next weekend, we are sitting pretty good with our arms.”