Baseball: Jensen blanks Buffalo as Warriors get 2nd straight shutout
Brainerd hosts Buffalo May 23
BRAINERD — For the second straight game, the Brainerd Warriors didn’t need to use their bullpen Monday, May 23.
Senior Adam Jensen pitched a complete-game shutout and allowed four hits with three strikeouts and no walks over seven innings to help the Warriors to a 3-0 win over Buffalo in a Section 8-4A game.
“I really had control of all three of my pitches and it worked out well,” Jensen said. “I was throwing strikes and let them put the ball in play. I trust the seven guys behind me and our outfield played great today.”
Brainerd helped Jensen with a three-run first inning which was all he needed.
Mitchell Brau led off the bottom of the first with a double and scored on an Isaac Hanson single.
Hanson went to third on a throwing error and Jon Benson ripped one of his two doubles to make it 2-0.
Alex Helmin courtesy ran for the catcher Benson and came around to score on a two-out single by Jensen who helped himself out with the RBI.
“I liked the way we came out of the gates,” Warriors head coach Trent Grams said. “We put up a three spot, a nice crooked number and the kids were aggressive early in the game and they didn’t let their pitcher settle in. So it’s nice to give a little cushion to Adam.”
Jensen breezed through three innings with no Buffalo runner getting further than second base.
In the top of the fourth inning, a single followed by a hit batter put runners on first and second with one out. A dropped third strike loaded the bases with two outs, but Jensen worked out of the jam by inducing a ground ball to end the threat.
“He’s around the zone and he throws strikes,” Grams said. “He’s always trusting the seven guys behind him. If you just let the other team hit it sometimes, good things will happen. He didn’t have any walks and one hit batter, so I just loved how he works hard and gets after it every time he pitches.”
Jensen then sent down the next eight Bison batters until the seventh inning. A couple of singles put runners on the corners with two outs and the tying run at bat for Buffalo.
A lazy flyball to Brody Lund gave the Warriors their second straight shutout.
The Warriors belted four doubles with Benson hitting his second double in the third and Riley DeRosier adding a double in the fourth.
“If we are going to start to hit a little bit better, now is the best time to hit it late in the season,” Grams said. “Hopefully we can continue it, but our boys are starting to barrell it up a little more. They are hitting the pitches in their counts and it’s fun to see.”
Jensen said the three runs in the first inning was nice to settle him in.
“I was able to stay with my game plan and attack the zone,” he said. “I think our energy really feeds around the middle of our order. (Benson) had two doubles today. Riley DeRosier had a double, who’s been hitting the crap out of the ball, so I think our energy comes from those guys and trusting that core in the middle.”
Grams said having back-to-back pitchers go seven innings helps them reset as Monday was the first of four straight games.
“Any time you have an opportunity in four games in four days to stay fresh with your pitchers and maybe go back and go to the next guy tomorrow and save on some of those bullpen guys it allows you to load them up the last game of the week,” he said.
It was Hanson who last Thursday went seven innings and struck out 13 in a 1-0 win over St. Cloud.
“Everyone knew at the start of the year Isaac would be Isaac, you know, he’s got great stuff,” Jensen said. “I always trusted in my stuff. Coming into this year, I didn’t know how much I would pitch, but I’ve pitched pretty well over the year and I still think Jack Schafer can get it going this year and some other guys can get the job done as well.”
Buffalo 0 4 2
Brainerd 3 8 1
WP: Adam Jensen. LP: Evan Soeffker. 2B: Brd-Jon Benson (2), Riley DeRosier, Mitchell Brau.
Warriors 3, Buffalo 0
Key: Adam Jensen shuts down Buffalo’s bats in section win
Overall: Brd 7-9, Buf 2-16.
Next: Brainerd at Bemidji 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 24.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.