Storm Lake 3 Bancroft 1
Eze Encarnacion’s single in the ninth was the difference as the Storm Lake Whitecaps topped the Bancroft Bandits 3-1 in Bancroft Saturday night.
The late inning heroics continued for the Whitecaps, one night after Christian Pena’s single scored two runs in the ninth and won the game against Albert Lea, it was Encarnacion’s turn to be the hero. His single plated Mason Pryzbilla and Tony Nichols, helping the Whitecaps win their second game in a row and third of the season.
The Whitecaps never trailed in this game as they scored the game’s first run all the way back in the third inning, Anthony Stewart scored on a Bancroft error.
The Bandits would tie the game at one when Alex Remy led off the bottom of the fifth with a lead off home run. Bancroft would load the bases later in that same inning but Whitecaps starter Spencer Wyent got Bo Fricks to ground to end the inning.
It would be the Whitecaps loading the bases in the seventh with just one out, but Bancroft pitched Dion Felger induced a 1-2-3 double play to escape the jam and keep the game tied.
Both teams went down in order in the eighth to set up the ninth inning drama. Bancroft elected to Felger start the ninth but after a hit by pitch and an error gave the Whitecaps runners on the corners, Felger was lifted for Thomas Ruwe.
After another error loaded the bases, Ruwe got leadoff hitter Casey Berg to pop up.
But on the very first pitch of the at bat, Encarnacion got the pitch he wanted and drove in the go ahead runs.
Bancroft would get the tying runs on in the bottom of the ninth but Clayton Lieb got Todd Jackson to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and pick up the win.
Both starting pitchers were incredible in this game, Wyent threw seven strong innings, giving up five hits, three walks, and just the one run while striking out four. Dion Felger threw 8+ innings, all three Storm Lake runs were charged to him. He allowed seven hits over the course of the night, walked only one and struck out three.
Clayton Lieb ends up getting the win for Storm Lake. He threw two no-hit innings and struck out the side in the eighth.
Berg, Pena, and Stewart all finished with two hits for the Whitecaps, while Remy finished 1 for 3, and Colin Brophy logged a double for the Bandits.
These two teams will finish their weekend series today in Storm Lake.
Carroll 8 Sioux Falls 7
After being shutout by the Sioux Falls pitching staff for 14 consecutive innings, the Carroll Merchants offense finally solved the Gold puzzle and was able to leave town with a split of their weekend series.
A wild pitch allowed Bradley Sanford to score what would be the game-winning run in the top of the ninth of Carroll’s 8-7 victory in Sioux Falls.
The Merchants fell behind early as Patrick O’Donnell crushed a 2-run home run to left field, that is his first of the summer and the Gold has a 2-0 lead.
It would stay quiet all the way until the sixth as Sioux Falls starter David Flattery was cruising along. He was lifted for Caleb Stratmoen and that’s when Carroll found their groove.
Two hits, three free passes and one wild pitch allowed the Merchants to score three runs and take the lead. Nolan Friedrichs and Eric Yachinich each had RBI singles in the inning.
The Gold would respond in their next at bat. With a runner on first and two outs, Matt Morgan singled, Cole Jensen doubled, and John Holleran singled to give Sioux Falls three runs back. Three batters later Lucas Berry worked a bases loaded walk to score Holleran and give the Gold a 6-3 lead.
In the eighth, Sanford would welcome new pitcher Brody Hagel-Pitt to the game with a leadoff home run to right center field. Then with Yachinich and Mitchell McCallister on, Zach Berry’s ground out scored Yachinich to bring Carroll within one.
Next batter, Zach Ruckman, picked a very opportune time for his first hit of the game, that scored McCallister and tied the game at six.
To the ninth we go, still tied, the Merchants get runners on the corners with just one out. Sioux Falls elects to intentionally walk pinch-hitter Michael Davila which loads the bases for Yachinich. The 0-1 pitch gets away from Hagel-Pitt, hits Yachinich which allows the go-ahead run to score. Sanford would score on a wild pitch in the next at bat to make the score 8-6 heading to the bottom of the ninth.
An interesting decision by Carroll manager Zak Larkin to pull Jeremy Thorson before the ninth, Thorson had sat down out six Gold players he had faced, including striking out the side in the eighth.
Instead it would be Connor Forsythe looking for the save and he would lose a nine-pitch at bat to Tiegen Lindner who singled to start the inning. After striking out the next batter, in an attempt to pick off Lindner, Forsythe makes an errant throw to allow Lindner to advance to third. To make matters worse, Forsythe is then called for a balk and Lindner is allowed to score. O’Donnell would win his nine-pitch at bat and walk.
With the winning run at the plate, the Merchants go to Jacob Rosales out of the pen. After striking out clean-up hitter Derek Dahlke for the 2nd out, Rosales allows a single to Ford Schroeder which puts the winning run on base. A wild pitch would move the tying and winning runs into scoring position.
Morgan would end up walking on yet another nine-pitch at bat, giving Cole Jensen a shot at another Sioux Falls walk-off.
Rosales would dig deep and strike out Jensen on three pitches securing the save for himself and the win for his team.
Nolan Friedrichs was on fire Saturday as he finished 4 for 4, with a RBI and a walk. Yachinich finished 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and a hit by pitch. In addition to his home run, Bradley Sanford had two hits, 2 runs scored, a walk and was also hit by a pitch.
Thorson gets the win after two shutout innings, Rosales gets the first save of the year for the Merchants.
For the Gold, O’Donnell and Jensen had the only extra bases hits. The offense was as balanced as it could be, Sioux Falls finished with six hits, all coming from six different players. They showed great patience at the plate, drawing nine walks on the day.
Brody Hagel-Pitt gets the loss after surrendering five runs in the final two innings of the game, David Flattery winds up with the no decision despite throwing five shutout innings.
The Gold return to action on Tuesday as they travel to take on the Storm Lake Whitecaps, while the Merchants are off until Thursday when they host the Albert Lea Lakers.