It was a tale of two days for the Tigers’ baseball nine.
One day after sweeping a pair of games from Southwest Christian, who many consider to be a contender for the Minnesota River Conference crown, the Tigers’ bats fell silent on Friday, April 23, in a 4-0 loss to Sibley East.
“We never got comfortable at the plate,” said Coach Pat Schultz. “As good of at-bats as we had on Thursday, last night was the exact opposite.”
The victory leaves the surprise Wolverines alone atop the MRC standings with a 6-0 mark, 8-0 overall. The Tigers fell to 4-1 in the MRC and 6-1 overall.
“Overall, Sibley East just outplayed us,” said Coach Pat Schultz. “They were more ready to go and their pitcher really kept us off balance. They played a great game defensively and did enough at the plate to win the game. Hopefully, the boys learn from the loss and rebound Tuesday for G-F-W.”
The Tigers are scheduled to play at G-F-W on Tuesday, April 29. (Results were unavailable at press time.)
The locals return to MRC action on Monday, May 3, when it welcomes Mayer Lutheran. Maple River (5-0) visits Belle Plaine on Tuesday, May 4, in a Section 2AA matchup.
Sibley East had bases loaded in both the first and second innings in Friday’s battle of unbeatens, but a nifty 6-4-3 double play in the first and a pop-out, strike out in the second limited the damage to just one run in each inning.
The Tigers, however, were unable to take advantage of its scoring opportunities. The Tigers had runners on base in six of the seven innings. The Wolverines added a pair of runs in the fifth on back-to-back RBI doubles.
Luke Luskey took the mound loss, surrendering two runs on four hits and four walks through two innings. Keaton Nordby surrendered two runs on three hits in two innings of work, and Ethan Hoffman struck out three without allowing a run in two innings of work.
Joey Burgemeister had two of Belle Plaine’s seven hits. Jack Kruger, Ted Hohn, Cade Morrison, Derek Hoffman, and Lucas O’Brien also hit safely.
Thursday’s double-header sweep of Southwest Christian left Belle Plaine alone at the top of the MRC for 24 hours.
The Tigers faced their first deficit of the season in game two. Southwest struck for a single tally against Belle Plaine starter Derek Hoffman in the first. The Tigers answered in the third when Luskey walked, worked his way around the bases, and scored on a wild pitch. Southwest answered in the fourth on a couple of hits, but Hoffman worked his way out of the jam and cruised the rest of the way.
The Tigers still trailed 2-1 into the bottom of the sixth before exploding for 11 runs, eventually winning 12-2 in six innings.
“This was a really impressive game for the team,” said Schultz. “The boys stayed positive and it led to a giant inning to end the game. This was a great way to end a double header against a talented team. I was very impressed to see the resiliency the boys showed as they battled back from multiple deficits.”
Schultz was impressed with the patience and discipline the Tigers showed at the plate against Southwest ace Weigert. The hard throwing right hander was forced the leave the game after four innings, as the Tigers’ patience had run his pitch count up over 100.
Trevor Grengs was 2-of-4 with two runs, a stolen base, and an RBI. Hoffman and Burgemeister each had a hit and pair of RBI, and Jake Brandenburg, Keaton Norby, and O’Brien also hit safely.
Kruger and O’Brien combined on a one-hitter in game one, an 8-4 Tigers’ victory. Kruger struck out eight in 4.1 innings.
A five-run third inning opened the gates for the Tigers.
Grengs and Hohn each had a hit and two RBI, and Hoffman, Luskey and Kruger also hit safely.
BPHS Boys Baseball Team Schedule and Results
W,W - April 10: BP 15, Minnehaha Academy 0 / BP 7, Hinckley 0
W - April 12: BP 15, Mayer Lutheran 1
W - April 15: BP 16, TCU 2
April 19: 5 p.m. vs. SE - Postponed
W,W - April 22: BP 8, SWC 4 / BP 12, SW 2
L - April 23: SE 4, BP 0
April 27: 5 p.m. vs. GFW @ Fairfax
May 3: 7 p.m. vs. ML
May 4: 5 p.m. vs. Maple River
May 6: 5 p.m. vs. TCU @ Montgomery Memorial Park Baseball Field
May 8: 4:30 p.m. vs. Prior Lake @ Memorial Park - Prior Lake
May 10 : 5 p.m. vs. SE @ Walsh Field/Jaycee Park in Gaylord
May 13: 4 p.m. vs. LS-H
May 17: 4:30 p.m. @ St. Peter
May 18: 5 p.m. vs. Fairmont
May 21: 4 p.m. @ NYA
Boys Baseball 2021 Standings
Sibley East....................6-0, 8-0
Belle Plaine...................4-1, 6-1
SW Christian................2-2, 4-2
Norwood YA.................1-1, 2-2
Le Sueur-Henderson.....0-1, 0-1
Tri-City United.............0-3, 0-4
Mayer Lutheran............0-4, 0-5
Sibley E 7-7, Mayer Lthrn 6-0
Belle Plaine 8-12, SWC 4-2
Sibley East 4, Belle Plaine 0
NYA 3, TCU 1
SW Christian 16, Myr Lthrn 3
HL-W-W 9, NYA 3
St. Peter 6, Tri-City United 2
Sibley East 9, NYA 2
G-SL 12, Mayer Lutheran 2
SWC 8, Watertown-Myr 1