Late run lifts Indians

SPRINGFIELD – When clutch hits lead to pitching changes, do the hits keep coming or stop all together?

For the Sleepy Eye amateur baseball team, they kept coming in its 8-7 win against Springfield at Riverside Park on Tuesday night.

“We actually got some clutch hits tonight,” said Sleepy Eye coach Bruce Woitas. “We got the quick lead, they came back and answered that right away, they took the lead, we bounced back, we hung in there.”

With the game knotted at 7-7 in the top of the ninth inning, Andrew Woitas delivered a shot in the shallow left-center gap for a single before advancing to second on a passed ball during the next at-bat. With two outs, the Tigers pulled Christian Loomis from the mound for Alex Fink in hopes of recording the final out and getting one more chance to score.

On the fifth pitch of a 3-1 count, however, Alan Woitas drilled a shot over the left fielder’s head to drive in Andrew for what turned out to be the game-winning run for the Indians.

“It was back-and-forth the whole game,” said Springfield coach Steve Helget. “They just got the last wack, I guess.”

Loomis officially got the loss for Springfield, with his sole hit and earned run given up counting as Andrew Woitas’ shot in the ninth inning. Alex Frank got the no-decision for the Tigers, giving up nine hits and seven runs – six earned – while recording five strikeouts without a walk in seven innings of work.

Springfield was in command for most of the game, garnering a 3-2 lead after the first inning thanks to RBIs from Fink, Loomis and Marc Salazar.

The Tigers’ fourth run came in the second inning as the result of an RBI double to the left-field fence that scored Jacob Menage for a 4-2 lead. But the Indians responded, managing to tie the game at 4-4 after a ball between the legs of Loomis, who was playing second base at the time, allowed Sean Mathiowetz to reach base before eventually scoring the tying run.

The tug of war saw the teams knotted at 5-5 after seven, but Sleepy Eye retook the lead in the eighth inning thanks to a two-run shot by Kelly Krzmarzick that scored Jake Bohnen and Alan Woitas.

Springfield’s two-run eighth inning re-tied the game at 7-7, calling for the exit of draftee Kyle Pinke from St. James.

Pinke, who wore his green hat and gold uniform, stuck out among Sleepy Eye’s blue garbs. But Woitas didn’t care too much about that.

“You get to this point in the year and you get to pick some guys to come and help you out and he did a nice job for us the other night in the one inning against the Brewers on Sunday,” Woitas said of Pinke. “He did a nice job here, coming into that tough situation and did a nice job to get us out of that.”

Pinke and Mathiowetz, who started the game, were both credited with no-decisions while Matt Helget got the win for the Indians in his two innings on the mound. Helget prevented Springfield from plating any more runs in the final two innings while allowing just one hit and one walk.

Friday’s game will pit Sleepy Eye at Leavenworth and Springfield at New Ulm. Both games are slated to start at 8 p.m.

SE 202 000 121 – 8 11 1

Spr. 311 000 020 – 7 13 2

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