7/23/2020 8:32:00 AM Pirates open playoffs with win; Hadley rallies past Lakers late
First Nite/Gopher League Playoffs
#7G Ruthton vs. #2FN Windom Game 1: Windom 8, Ruthton 1 Game 2: Friday at Ruthton, 7:30 p.m. Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday at Island Park, 2 p.m.
#6G Tracy vs. #3FN Jackson Game 1: Jackson 12, Tracy 1 (7 innings) Game 2: Saturday at Tracy, 2 p.m. Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday at Jackson, 2 p.m.
#5G Pipestone vs. #4FN Lakefield Game 1: Lakefield 6, Pipestone 1 Game 2: Friday at Pipestone, 7:30 p.m. Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday at Lakefield, 2 p.m.
#5FN Heron Lake vs. #4G Adrian Game 1: Adrian 8, Heron Lake 6 Game 2: Saturday at Heron Lake, 2 p.m. Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday at Adrian, 2 p.m.
#6FN Mt. Lake vs. #3G Hadley Game 1: Hadley 3, Mt. Lake 1 Game 2: Saturday at Hadley, 2 p.m. Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday at Hadley, 2 p.m.
#7FN Worthington vs. #2G Milroy Irish Game 1: Milroy 8, Worthington 1 Game 2: Friday at Worthington, 7:30 p.m. Game 3 (if necessary): Sunday at Milroy Irish Yard, 2 p.m.
Ruthton 001 000 000 = 1-5-1 Windom 000 203 12x = 8-13-1 It took time for the Windom offense to get clicking Wednesday night, but the Pirates found their groove in the middle innings and rode another strong pitching performance to an 8-1 win over the Ruthton Royals in the opening game of the First Nite/Gopher League Playoffs at Island Park.
Ruthton broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning. After a leadoff walk, an errant pickoff attempt and a single, Dain LaRock drove in the lone Royals run with a single.
Pirate starting pitcher Ross Ackerman settled in after that, not allowing another runner to reach second base through eight innings. Collin Lovell pitched a perfect ninth inning, sealing the win.
Windom broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning. Alex Borsgard drove in a run when he beat out a fielder's choice grounder, with a wild throw to first on the same play allowing a second run to score.
The Pirates took command of the game in the sixth. Jacob Johnson plated a run with a single, Sam Huska added an RBI sacrifice fly and Jack Mellstrom added an RBI single for a 5-1 Windom lead.
In the seventh, Danny Kneeland ripped an RBI single for a 6-1 lead. Then, in the eighth, Noah Kloss hit an RBI double and Devin Nielsen hit an RBI single.
Kloss led the Pirates with three hits in the win. Alex Fink and Kneeland added two hits each.
Ackerman went eight strong innings, allowing one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out nine.
The best-of-three series shifts to Ruthton for game two Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. If Ruthton wins game two, game three of the series will be played Sunday at Island Park, beginning at 2 p.m.
Hadley 100 000 002 = 3-5-2 Mt. Lake 000 001 000 = 1-2-0 Missed opportunities and a pair of long balls came back to haunt the Mt. Lake Lakers Wednesday night, as the Lakers opened the First Nite/Gopher League playoffs with a 3-1 loss to Hadley at St. James.
The Lakers stranded runners in scoring position in a pair of innings late in the game. That opened the door for Hadley to score a pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning to capture a victory.
The Buttermakers struck first, scoring on a Kellen Johnson solo home run in the top of the first inning. After that, Laker pitcher Andrew Hirsch settled into a groove, retiring 22 of the next 24 Hadley batters.
The Lakers tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth. Tylor Duerksen led off with a walk and Levi Jahnke was hit by a pitch. Zach Spinks followed with a two-out RBI single, tying the game at 1-1. But a long fly ball to right field ended the threat with two runners in scoring position.
The Lakers then had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the second. Corey Maras reached on an error. Pinch runner Jacob Brey was bunted to second by Levi Anderson. Wyatt Stevens walked and Blake Spinks was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with one out. But a sharp grounder off the bat of Duerksen turned into a double play, ending the Laker threat.
In the top of the ninth, Joe Larson led off with a single. Then, with one out, Johnson smashed his second home run of the game over the left field fence, giving Hadley a 3-1 lead. The Lakers were retired in order in the bottom of the inning, sending Hadley home with a 1-0 series lead.
Hirsch and Zach Spinks had the lone hits of the game for the Lakers.
Hirsch took the tough complete game loss, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out seven without issuing a walk.
Game two of the best-of-three series will be played Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m., at Hadley. If the Lakers win Saturday, game three will be played Sunday in Hadley, beginning at 2 p.m.
Next games: Check for updates after each game. Windom: at Ruthton, July 24 Mt. Lake: at Hadley, July 25