Essig advances to Region 2C playoffs

SLEEPY EYE – After falling to Sleepy Eye in the first game of the Tomahawk East League best-of-3 series, the Essig Bluejays needed to beat the Indians in two consecutive games to advance to the Region 2C tournament.

The Bluejays completed the ninth-inning comeback on Sunday afternoon, then cruised to a 6-1 victory to advance and end Sleepy Eye’s season.

Left-hander Sam Hanson recorded the win for the Bluejays. Hanson went all nine innings, giving up only one run, on six hits, striking out one and not allowing a free pass.

Andrew Woitas took the loss for the Indians, giving up three runs on six hits. He struck out two, in 2 1/3 innings of work.

Tim Kehren, Kyle Helget, and Dusty Fleck had three hits apiece for Essig. Mitch Stueber recorded three RBIs.

Andrew Woitas and Matt Berkner each had two hits for Sleepy Eye.

Tim Kehren and Kyle Helget each singled to start off the game for Essig. Dusty Fleck then scored them both with a double in the right field gap.

Essig picked up another run in the third inning thanks to a two-out double by Stueber, and one more in the fifth from another double off the bat of Terry Helget.

Meanwhile, Hanson was keeping Sleepy Eye hitters off balance and was crusing along.

“Sam [Hanson] did a great job tonight,” said Helget, “He was hitting spots all night, he is at his best when he is that way.”

Sleepy Eye got its only run on the board in the eighth inning when Berkner hit a triple down the left-field line and was singled in the next at-bat by Joey Walter to cut the lead to 4-1.

Essig added to its lead in the ninth and secured the victory with two runs scored on by a double from Stueber.

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