The Crookston Reds Amateur Baseball team overcame giving up four unearned runs before scoring twice in the ninth inning to knock off the defending Red River League champion Ada A’s 6-4 Wednesday night.
The A’s scored first when with two outs a ball thrown back to the pitcher sailed behind second base, a throw to third to try to get the runner clanked off the third baseman’s glove allowing the runner to come home and give Ada a 1-0 lead in the first. The Reds would answer back in the top of the second inning when Lars Brevik drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Owen Ellefson singled to center scoring Brevik to tie the game 1-1.
Ada would retake the lead in the third inning when back-to-back errors on batted balls to short and second put runners on second and third with nobody out. A wild pitch would bring home a run making it 2-1 Ada. Following a pop out, Ethan Opsahl hit a chopper to third that would score another run to push Ada’s lead to 3-1 after three innings.
The Reds battled back with single runs in the fourth, sixth and eighth innings to take the lead. In the fourth, Dave Grabowski drew a one-out walk. Following a fly out for the second out of the inning, Ellefson doubled to center field scoring Grabowski from first to make it 3-2 Ada. “Owen has come out hitting the ball very well to open the season,” said Reds Co-Manager Matt Morin. “He went five for five again today and has hit safely in every at-bat thus far.”In the sixth inning, Ellefson beat out a ground ball for an infield hit with one out and stole second. Matt Morin was hit by a pitch to put runnings on first and second with one out before Blake Kawlewski lifted a ball softly into right field allowing Ellefson to score and tie the game 3-3. The Reds were still threatening with runners on first and second and one out before Alex LaFrance hit into an inning-ending double play. The Reds would take their first lead of the game in the eighth inning when Grabowski walked. Pinch runner Aaron Butcher stole second and moved to third on a base hit to right field by Ellefson. Butcher then had to come out of the game injured and Grabowski re-entered before scoring on a wild pitch to give the Reds a 4-3 lead.
Ada would tie things back up in the bottom of the eighth inning when Brett Fetting led off with a triple to centerfield and came home to score on an error at third to make it 4-4. Following the error, the A’s were threatening with a man on second and nobody out, but Reds’ pitcher Jacob Butcher was able to get out of the inning by inducing a popout, picking up a strikeout and getting a ground out to end the threat.
The Reds would reclaim the lead for good in the ninth when Noah Zimmerman picked up a one-out single to centerfield. Bailey Schmitz followed with a double to right center and the throw to third sailed over the third baseman to the fence allowing Zimmerman and Schmitz to move to third to score to make it 5-4 Reds. Following a walk to Grabowski, the Reds had runners on the corners with one-out when Brevik hit a fielders choice to short for the second out of the inning at second base which scored Jackson Seibel who pinch ran for Schmitz to make it 6-4. A single by Ellefson put runners on first and second with two outs before pinch hitter Rob Silvers grounded out to short to end the inning. “It was nice to see us battle back against a good team and take a late lead,” said Morin. “We had opportunities early in the game and couldn’t take advantage but we were able to come up with the timely hits in the final innings.”
Ada threatened in the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back hits to lead off the inning before Hunter Kroening was thrown out trying to steal third after the batter pulled back on a bunt attempt. A fielders choice and pop out would end the Ada threat as the Reds held on for the 6-4 win. “It’s nice to get back to .500 in league play with a win over the defending league champion and a team we always struggle with,” said Morin. “We still have some things we need to clean up defensively, but we’re proving we can hit and score runs and our pitching has been solid.”
The Reds improve to 2-1 on the year and will travel to play the Moorhead Miners Thursday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be played at the Tharaldson Baseball Park in Fargo.
|Owen Ellefson – Crox||4.0||4||3||0||1||0|
|Aaron Butcher – Crox (WP)||5.0||4||1||0||0||1|
Owen Ellefson – 5-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Will Zimmerman – 2-4, BB, SB
Dave Grabowski – 0-2, 3 BB, 2 R