Baseball: Sartell edges by Warriors in extras
Brainerd hosts Sartell Tuesday, April 18
BRAINERD — Sartell scored two runs in the top of the ninth to spoil Brainerd’s opening day and beat the Warriors 3-1 in a Central Lakes Conference game Tuesday, April 18, at Adamson Field.
A single and walk put runners on first and second with one out in the ninth. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third and Brett Schlanger hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the go-ahead run.
With two outs, Dylan Simones provided insurance for the Sabres with a double down the right-field line to make it 3-1.
“That run takes a little pressure off the kids when you have one extra one to give up,” Sartell head coach Jerome Nemanich said.
Schlanger earned the win for the Sabres as he sent down the Warriors 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth. Schlanger pitched two scoreless innings for Sartell.
“We competed all the way until the end,” Warriors head coach Trent Grams said. “We were very clean defensively and pitched very well. We felt like our pitching and our fielding was ahead of our hitting today and that usually is what happens early in the season.”
Sartell was playing its second game of the year as it beat Duluth East 11-7 Friday, April 14.
“Today was a little bit of a different game than that one,” Nemacnich said. “This one was low scoring. Our kids pitched and played defense really well. We only had two strikeouts in nine innings, but our shortstop Gavan Schulte made a ton of plays and we had some nice plays in center field by Dylan Simones. It’s nice to have a game like this.”
Sabres’ Wesley Johnson started on the mound and sent down the first 15 Brainerd batters in order. Johnson relied on his defense as he only struck out two batters over his seven innings and allowed one run.
“Wesley’s ball really moves, so he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys, he just gets a lot of ground balls,” Nemacnich said. “They are used to playing behind him and he’s efficient, so the kids were great behind him defensively.”
Isaac Hanson got the start for the Warriors and struck out eight in five scoreless innings.
“We were going to give him 70 to 75 pitches and he was clean through five innings,” Grams said. “To build off that for his next start, we will try to get up to that 85 to 90 range and see how he does there. Overall, a good start for him today.”
Brody Lund came on in relief in the sixth and got the first two Sabres out. Sartell started a two-out rally beginning with a Gavan Schulte single. He advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a long single by designated hitter Andrew Ritter.
The Warriors responded in the bottom of the sixth with a run. Designated hitter Keaton Lingenfelter got on with an infield single. Eli Owen bunted Lingenfelter to second. He then scored on a Sawyer Hennessey single.
“The execution there was really well done,” Grams said. “We were very proud. Eli Owen had a phenomenal bunt to move the runner up and Sawyer came through with a base hit. The seniors were really leading the way there, so we were happy with the fight to get that run.”
The Warriors flipped the lineup card back to the top where Eli Hoelz singled to put runners on first and second with one out, but both were left stranded.
Brainerd catcher Jonathan Benson led off the bottom of the seventh with a single. His courtesy runner Brannon Amundson stole second with two outs and reached third on a wild pitch.
The winning run was left on third when Owen flew out to center to send the game to extra innings.
“We had a lot of good senior leaders who were putting the ball in play,” Grams said. “The kids that were playing have a lot of baseball experience and are not backing down. They put the ball in when they needed to and we were happy with that.”
Lund struck out six in four innings of relief. He allowed three runs on four hits to get hit with the loss.
“We were impressed with him,” Grams said. “He battled and fought hard. We didn’t want to go to anyone else in that situation because we wanted him to be out there. He learned a lot today and he’s come a long way too, so we are hoping to get his pitch count numbers up there too.”
Kade Lewis recorded two hits for the Sabres, including a double. Schulte also had a two-hit game for the Sabres and scored twice.
The Warriors are back home Thursday, April 20, against Sauk Rapids.
“We hope to keep doing what we did today, just get a few more hits,” Grams said.
Sartell 3 6 0
Brainerd 1 4 0
WP: Brett Schlangen. LP: Brody Lund. 2B: Sar-Kade Lewis, Dylan Simones.
Sartell 3, Warriors 1 (9 innings)
Key: Sartell plates two in the top of the ninth to steal Brainerd’s opener.
Conference: Brd 0-1, Sar 1-0.
Overall: Brd 0-1. Sar 2-0.
Next: Brainerd hosts Sauk Rapids 5 p.m. Thursday, April 20.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.