Sleepy Eye falls

SLEEPY EYE – After fighting back from an error-laden stretch, Sleepy Eye lost a nailbiter to Mankato Maroon 4-3 with missed opportunities on Thursday night at the Northwest Subdistrict VFW Tournament.

Maroon’s Mac Severns gave Sleepy Eye trouble on the mound, working ahead in the count and forcing batters to take uncomfortable swings on his way to the victory.

“We didn’t have good plate discipline,” Sleepy Eye coach Dusty Mangen said. “We swung at way too many pitches in the dirt, too many pitches high. We overall didn’t have good at-bats.”

Two errors in the first inning accounted for Maroon’s first lead of the game. A throwing error by center fielder Matt Berkner waved in Wil Cipos from third base for Maroon’s first run, while another throwing error – this time by right fielder Dylan Klein – allowed Austin Ellingsworth to score.

“The errors are pretty uncharacteristic of us,” Mangen said. “In every game we lost, we kind of gave it away in some form or another. The games we win, we don’t make errors; the games we lose, we do make errors.”

Sleepy Eye would go on to commit three more errors, although none of them were linked to runs.

An opportunity to take the lead revealed itself in the top of the seventh inning with the score knotted 3-3.

With two outs, Brandon Helget belted a shot to the gap in left-center for a double to become the potential game-winning run.

However, Jon Kopacek swung on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt to end the inning and give Maroon a chance to take the game.

“We had opportunities to score runs and we didn’t,” Mangen said. “A lot of times that was just us not executing the way we should, not having good at-bats like we should in that situation.”

Maroon produced with a home run to left-center by Charlie Starkson that drove in Ellingsworth to wrap up the 4-3 loss for Sleepy Eye.

Sleepy Eye will play Dassel at 4 p.m. on Friday at Sleepy Eye.

SE 100 101 0 – 3 3 5

MM 210 000 1 – 4 7

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