The Tigers experienced a mixed bag at the 21st annual Tigertown Classic tournament, bludgeoning Minnesota Lake 12-2 on Friday before falling 6-5 on Saturday in a walk-off win for Hamburg. That means that just once in 21 years have the Tigers made it to the championship game of their own tournament – a 4-3 loss to Marshall in 2011.
Congratulations to the Watertown Red Devils, who not only received a five-inning no-hitter from Zach Iten in a 12-0 win Saturday against Andover but won twice more to claim this year’s tournament hardware. Watertown beat the Minneapolis Mudcats on Sunday morning, 6-3 in eight innings, before an exciting 7-4 win over Crow River Valley League rival Hamburg on Sunday. Thanks, also, to the many willing hands that helped out at Tiger Park over the weekend.
Team Tigertown will carry a 7-4 (4-2) record into tonight’s home game against Lonsdale, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:30 p.m. With a youth baseball tournament at Tiger Park this weekend, the town teamers will hit the road with matchups at Fairfax on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Henderson on Sunday (5 p.m.).
Due to the Farming Tournament next weekend, your next chance after tonight to catch the boys at home is the much-ballyhooed Brent Meyer Memorial and Tiger Alumni Night. Circle the calendar for that one. More details next week!
Minnesota Lake 2, BP 12
(Tigertown Classic–5 inn.)
For the second season in a row, Minnesota Lake and Belle Plaine played the first game of the Tigertown Classic in the 6:30 p.m. Friday slot. Last season required extra innings, as the Tigers finally scooched past the Royals with four runs in the eighth inning to win, 6-2.
On Friday the Tigers notched their second straight four-run frame against the Royals, batting eight men in the first inning before adding another three runs in the second for a commanding 7-0 lead. The lead grew to 10-0 and by the time the night was finished, Team Tigertown touched home in every inning but the fifth.
Wes Sarsland proved to be the primary player both on the mound and in the batter’s box. The left-hander spun five innings of three-hit ball, yielding both runs in the fifth inning. At the plate, Sarsland went 2-for-2 with a home run over the double-link wall in right field while bagging three RBI.
Eight Tigers had a hit, with Nathan Herman (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI) the only other Tiger with multiple safeties. Carsen Ladd drew three walks and scored twice while his older brother, Aiden Ladd, walked twice and added a hit while driving in three runs. Derek Dahlke had a double, a walk and drove in two. Last but not least, Brody Curtiss went 1-for-3 with three runs and a hit.
Hamburg 6, BP 5
(Tigertown Classic–7 inn.)
Hamburg served as home team via random draw, while the Tigers poked across the game’s first run in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Derek Dahlke. Brody Curtiss was on the hill for the locals and struck out five of the first nine men he faced, but despite carrying a shutout into the fourth inning, he lost control and did not escape the frame. Jonathan Schmidt helped BP avoid further damage by firing a perfect strike from left field to dry out a runner at home plate.
The T-Train was in a 5-2 hole with six outs to go when Curtiss, Aiden Ladd and Derek Dahlke started the inning with consecutive hits to ignite a two-run rally. After hanging a zero in the bottom of the sixth, Luke Schmidt was hit by a pitch with one out. Down to their final out, Carsen Ladd laced a ball down the right-field line to tie the game, but he was thrown out on the bases, ending the uprising.
In the home half of the seventh, Hamburg singled and took third base on an errant throw. Having enjoyed myriad success by employing the bunt against the Tigers, they went to the well one more time with a suicide squeeze. Pitcher Nathan Herman made an excellent defensive play to flip the ball to catcher Pat Schultz in time, but the Hawks’ baserunner knocked the ball loose for the winning run.
Six Tigers picked up a hit, with the Ladd brothers, Carsen (3-for-4, 2B, RBI) and Aiden (2-for-3) leading the charge. Derek Dahlke had a hit and drove in a pair of runs.