The Red Lake County Rebels Baseball team got three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on their way to a walk-off victory over the Hillsboro Burros by a score of 5-4 in the first game of the Jim Karn Classic in Crookston. “I was hoping something would happen… I was kind of expecting it,” said the Rebels Head Coach Chris Nelson about his team’s final at-bat.
Both teams put up scoreless innings through the first two innings despite some traffic out on the bases.
After Bailey Hince put up another zero in the third for the Rebels, he got some run support in the bottom of the inning. A couple of errors allowed Ty Kennett and Eric Gieseke to reach a scoring position to start the inning. Kennett scored on a bunt by Hince. A wild pitch scored Gieseke later in the inning to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead after three innings. “We haven’t been hitting the ball, so we have to do something,” said Coach Nelson about his team’s aggressive approach on the bases. “It’s not a matter of if but when we are going to steal. We just want to get runs when we can get them.”
More zeros were put up in the fourth inning by each team. The Burros had two runners on but could not bring them in. The Rebels also had a chance to score in the fourth, but they ran into two outs at the plate. I think the pitcher had everything to do with [the struggling bats]. He was painting the corners, and we were striking out looking and leaving runners on base,” said Coach Nelson. “I give him all the credit.”
In the fifth inning, Hillsboro got on the board. The Rebels had two errors to start the inning. A hit by pitch loaded the bases. Cole Hebl hit a sac fly to right to put the Burros on the board. A couple of wild pitches followed that to score two more and give the Burros the lead. The Burros did all of this without a hit at this point in the game. With two outs in the fourth, they got their first two hits and a walk to load the bases. Andrew Johnson came on in relief of Hince, as he was nearing 100 pitches, and he was able to get a first-pitch groundout to end the inning.
The Rebels got a runner to second with two outs but did not score to keep the game at 3-2 after five innings.
The Burros added an insurance run in the sixth inning. A leadoff double from Brayden Walsh got things started. He got to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single from Payton Beliles.
The Rebels got a leadoff single from Johnson but left a runner stranded at first to end the inning.
Johnson worked around a single and error, allowing the runner to second to put up a scoreless half-inning with the Rebels trailing 4-2.
Red Lake County needed at least two runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie and needed three runs to win the game. Getting the bats going, they were able to get the three runs to steal a victory. Ty Kennett led off with a single and got to second on a stolen base. A single from Gieseke put runners at the corner. “I think we were finally sick of not hitting,” joked Coach Nelson. A wild pitch scored Kennett and moved Gieseke into scoring position. Then, Zak Kennett hit a grounder to second base that was mishandled, and the ball got into center field. Gieseke went home on a late send, and his foot slid in inches ahead of the tag at the plate to tie the game. Kennett moved up to second on the throw. After an intentional walk and a strikeout, Johnson came up to bat with one out. On the second pitch he saw, he hit a ball down the left-field line that was out of the reach of the diving left fielder to score Kennett from second and give the Rebels the 5-4 walk-off win. “We’ve got a senior-dominated lineup, so I would expect us to do something [in the inning],” explained Coach Nelson. “It was nice to see some hard-hit balls find some holes.”
The Rebels improve to 4-2 on the season after losing their first two games of the year. The Rebels’ second game in the Jim Karn Classic is Saturday at 10 am against West Marshall and you can hear the game on KROX Radio.
The Hillsboro Burros record moves to 4-5 on the season.
|Red Lake County||0||0||2||0||0||0||3||5||6||5|
|Bailey Hince- RLC||4.2||2||3||2||8||4|
|Andrew Johnson- RLC||2.1||3||0||0||0||1|
|Jackson Anderson- Hills||4||2||2||0||4||8|
|Payton Beliles- Hills||2.1||4||3||2||2||4|
For Red Lake County
Ty Kennett- 2 for 4, 2 runs
Eric Gieseke- 2 for 4, 2 runs
Andrew Johnson- 2 for 4, RBI
For Hillsboro/Central Valley
Brayden Walsh- 1 for 3, 2 runs
Payton Beliles- 1 for 3, RBI, run
Gannon Limke and Devon Johnson- One hit each