The Fergus Falls Otters had 13 hits and most of them were very hard-hit balls and had solid pitching to beat the Crookston Pirate Baseball team 13-3 in five innings in a game played at Jim Karn Field in Crookston.
In the top of the first inning, the first two Fergus Falls batters were retired before Carter Thielke blasted a line drive over the left fielder’s head with one hop to the fence for a triple. The next batter popped out to shallow left field, where the Pirate shortstop, Jacob Miller made a nice running catch to get the out to retire Fergus Falls.
Crookston was retired in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom of the inning.
Fergus Falls led off the second inning with back-to-back singles from Abel Aho and Owen Krueger. Aho stole third base and came into score on an error on the catcher and Fergus Falls took a 1-0 lead.
Crookston responded in the bottom of the inning. Cade DeLeon drew a walk, Ashton Larson was hit by a pitch, Jack Doda walked, and with bases loaded George Widman was hit by a pitch to score a run and the game was tied at 1-1. “Bases loaded and George took one in the arm and that is what you like to see from your players. George held his ground and took one for the team and got an rbi,” said Pirate Coach Mitch Bakken.
Fergus Falls bats warmed up in the third inning when Steve Gronwold doubled, followed by a Cole Zierden single. The next Otter batter, Ian Stumbo doubled to score runs for a 3-1 led. Thielke helped his cause in the next at-bat with a rbi single. Another runs scored on an error, and Bryce Burrill knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly for a 6-1 lead. “They made adjustments and they were hitting it all over the field with hard ground balls through the infield for singles and hard line drives to the fence,” said Coach Bakken. “They were finding ways to find the green out there and capitalized when they needed to.”
Crookston looked to respond in the bottom of the inning with one-out singles from Butt and Ethan Boll, but the next two batters struck out.
Fergus Falls added some more runs in the top of the fourth inning. The leadoff batter reached on an error, the next batter reached on a fielder’s choice. Runners advanced to second and third base on an error and a run scored on a sacrifice fly. Arik Heacox followed with a double to score a run and after a hit batter, Krueger had a two rbi single for a 10-1 lead. “We were working on things and it didn’t work out,” said Coach Bakken talking about the two errors in the inning. “Between the errors and some more well-hit balls, they scored some runs.”
Crookston answered in the bottom of the fourth inning with a one-out walk to Cade Coauette. After a strikeout, Gunner Gunderson singled and stole a base so runners were at second and third with two outs. Jacob Miller walked to load the bases and Brooks Butt blooped a hit into right field to score two runs and the Pirates trailed 10-3. “It was nice to see the guys still battling down by nine runs,” said Coach Bakken. “We need to start better than we have been lately and can’t get down by so many runs before we start getting some good at-bats.”
Fergus Falls added some more runs in the fifth inning with a one-out double from Stumbo. A single from Thielke scored a run and the next batter struck out before Aho was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. Krueger followed with a single and a third run scored on a wild pitch and the Otters led 13-3.
Crookston needed to score a run in the fifth to keep the game going and DeLeon doubled and Jacob Hesby reached and runners were at the corners with nobody out. The next three batters struck out, popped out to the catcher, and struck out and Fergus Falls held on to win the game 13-3 in five innings. “They hit the ball. They hit the ball well and they were well-disciplined at the plate,” said Coach Bakken. “I was happy with our pitching, they only gave up about four earned runs and they threw strikes and that is all we can ask for. We need to bounce back and have some energy tomorrow with two big games against East Grand Forks.”
Crookston lost their sixth seventh game in a row and drop to 5-8 on the year and will host East Grand Forks in a doubleheader on Tuesday. Fergus Falls improves to 3-11 on the year.
|Jack Doda – Crox||3||7||6||2||2||1|
|Cade Coauette – Crox||1||3||4||0||1||1|
|Jacob Miller – Crox||1||3||3||3||1||1|
|Carter Thielke – FF||3||2||1||1||4||7|
|David Horgen – FF||2||4||2||2||2||3|
Brooks Butt – 2 for 3, 2 rbi’s
Cade DeLeon – 1 for 2, run, double
Gunner Gunderson 1-3, run
For Fergus Falls
Carter Thielke – 3 for 3, 2 runs, 2 rbi
Owen Krueger – 3 for 3, 3 rbi
Ian Stumbo – 2 for 4, 3 runs, 2 rbi, 2 doubles