Tigers can relate to Minnesota Twins
New Richmond, like professionals, are unable to pull out of slump
If any team can relate to the current slump of the Minnesota Twins, it's the New Richmond Tiger baseball team.
The Tigers continued their swoon last Tuesday, losing at Baldwin-Woodville 14-2. This officially knocked the Tigers out of contention for the Middle Border Conference championship. B-W then locked up the conference title by beating Somerset 4-1 in eight innings last Thursday.
The loss at Baldwin-Woodville was another case where the Tigers collapsed early in the game. B-W scored 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning. Eight of those runs were unearned as the Tigers committed three errors in the bottom of the inning.
The first error capsulized the type of season the Tigers are having. After B-W leadoff hitter Zac Campbell singled, Tiger pitcher Josh Bottolfson picked him off first base. Tiger first baseman Tyler Hanson threw the ball down to second, but the throw was dropped and Campbell slid in safely.
That play locked in the momentum for the game. For that instant the Tigers had Campbell picked off, their hopes were lifted. But when the throw was dropped at second base, their hopes were completely deflated.
"That was huge," said Tiger coach John Ball. "It changed everything."
Campbell then scored on a single by Chopper Vail. Bottolfson then began to come unnerved, throwing wildly trying to pick Vail off first base. Bottolfson then hit Logan Kimberly with a pitch, before getting Tommy Thompson to pop out. Two more walks and another hit batter caused Ball to pull Bottolfson and bring in Tim Kretovics to pitch.
The third Tiger error immediately allowed two more Blackhawks to score. The Blackhawks then loaded the bases, before Kimberly unloaded them with a grand slam homer over the centerfield fence, building the lead to 10-0.
After the first inning the Tigers didn't play terribly, but had little mistakes that prevented them from denting the B-W lead. In the third inning the Tigers got a runner to third, but he showed a lack of judgement trying to score on a one-hopper back to the pitcher and was easily thrown out. In the fourth the Tigers got runners to second and third, but the final two outs were both on called third strikes.
The Tigers did manage to finally get on the scoreboard in the fifth inning when Danny Wells pulled a two-run homer over the left-field fence.
Kretovics didn't pitch badly after the first inning. He gave up a two-run homer to Tommy Thompson in the third inning, but the two B-W runs in the fourth inning were unearned.
With the progress Kretovics has made, the Tigers could have seven experienced pitchers returning to the team next season, one of the few silver linings to the rocky season.
New Richmond's game scheduled for Monday at Grantsburg was rained out and will be made up this Wednesday, ending the Tigers' regular season. The Tigers begin WIAA tournament play next Tuesday, when they play at Somerset.
New Richmond 2
NEW RICHMOND (2)
D.Wells c 3-1-1, Emerson cf 3-0-1, Engel lf 3-0-0, Kretovics rf-p 3-0-1, Jensen ss 1-0-1, T.Wells 3b 2-0-0, Komorouski 2b 0-0-0, Haffner dh 2-0-0, Bottolfson p-rf 2-0-1, Hanson 1b 1-1-0. Totals 20-2-5.
Campbell cf 4-2-1, Vail c 3-2-1, Kimberly ss 2-3-2, Thompson p 4-1-2, Somers rf 2-1-1, Reinhardt 2b 1-1-1, Beckman 1b 2-1-0, Newton lf 3-1-0, Van Roekel 3b 3-2-2. Totals 24-14-10.
2B-Emerson. HR-D.Wells. RBI-D.Wells 2.
New Richmond 000 02=2
Baldwin-Woodville (10)02 2x=14
PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO
Bottolfson (L) .1 2 6 2 2 0
Kretovics 4.2 8 8 2 2 1