New Richmond baseball gets its breakthrough game, bashing B-W 20-0The New Richmond baseball team has been on the verge of something big. On Monday, it finally happened.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
The New Richmond baseball team has been on the verge of something big. On Monday, it finally happened.
The Tiger offense went ballistic, scoring at will in Monday’s game at Baldwin-Woodville. When the five innings were finally over, the Tigers had planted a 20-0 defeat on the Blackhawks.
The previous top scoring game for the Tigers had been last week’s 10-9 win over Amery.
This was quite a contrast from the Tigers’ and Blackhawks’ opening game of the season. The Tigers were limited to one hit in that 4-1 loss, striking out 16 times.
Tiger coach Chad Fehrman has been selling his players on the idea of smart at-bats. The Tigers are swinging at very few pitches outside the strike zone and they are working the count to get better pitches to hit.
“We’ve been waiting for a breakout game. The best part is, everyone was involved,” Fehrman said.
The Tigers didn’t score in the first inning, but the offense got started with two runs in the second inning. The dam broke open in the third inning, when the Tigers scored six times. They scored nine more runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth inning.
Six different Tigers had multiple hit games as the team finished with 14 hits. The Tigers also drew 10 walks and were hit with four pitches, giving them an endless supply of baserunners.
Max Skatrud had the big hit of the game, a solo homer. Dalton Sabby had one of his best games, with two hits, two walks and three runs batted in. Tate Ziebol collected three walks and a hit. Ziebol, Skatrud and Andy Kittel each scored three times.
Nate Jones got the pitching start for the Tigers. He worked the first four innings, allowing two hits and striking out six. Justin Johnson worked a flawless fifth inning, striking out one.
This game was important because the Tigers are holding onto hope that they can catch the Middle Border Conference leaders, Prescott and Ellsworth. With Monday’s win, the Tigers break a tie with B-W, moving into third place in the MBC standings with a 5-3 record.
Two extra-inning wins moved the New Richmond baseball team into the upper half of the conference standings last week. The Tigers needed eight innings to beat Amery 10-9 last Tuesday and nine innings to finally beat Osceola 3-2 last Thursday.
The wins moved the Tigers into a tie for third place in the MBC standings with a 4-3 record. It marked the first time the Tigers had gone above the .500 level in conference play this season.
The two wins last week were vastly different games, but with one common thread: when the pressure was on, the Tigers got the job done.
“When we got down, we responded,” Fehrman said.
The Amery game would have been an easy chance for the Tigers to get down on themselves. They blew an 8-2 lead, but managed to regroup in the extra inning.
Through the first five innings the Tigers played superior ball building the 8-2 lead. The Tigers scored twice in the second inning, with Zac Parfitt doubling home both runs.
Fehrman said he felt the Tigers hit the ball with the most authority so far this season. That showed in the fourth inning when the Tigers racked up six runs. The Tigers used five singles and two walks to roll up the runs. The big hit of the inning was a bases-loaded single by Geoff Peck that cleared the bases.
Jones started on the mound for the Tigers. He worked five solid innings, then was relieved when the first two runners in the sixth inning reached base on an error and a walk. Parfitt and Johnson struggled in relief, with Amery coming back to tie the score at 9-9.
New Richmond scored their ninth run in the sixth inning on a single by Ryan Keehr and a double by Drew Durham. The Tigers stranded two runners on base in the sixth and they left the bags loaded without getting a run across in the seventh inning.
In the eighth the Tigers got the winning run home. Jones led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third on Durham’s sacrifice bunt. Peck then lined a single between the shortstop and third baseman to bring home Jones with the winning run.
Keehr got the win in relief, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Keehr was also an offensive leader against Amery, finishing with three hits.
A relief pitcher also got credit for the win against Osceola, but only after a mammoth effort from Durham. Durham pitched 8.2 innings before giving up two walks that loaded the bases in the ninth inning. Johnson took over and got out of the game in one pitch. His first pitch was popped back to the mound by Osceola’s Bryce Byl.
The Tigers took the patient way around the bases in the ninth inning. Kaleb Kier, Skatrud and Kittel walked to load the bases. Jeremy Leavens followed with a ringing single up the middle to bring home the winning run.
The Tigers scored single runs in the third and fifth innings against Osceola. Durham reached on an error to lead off the third inning. He moved to third on Skatrud’s double and scored on Peck’s single.
Skatrud led off the fifth with a single, moved to third on Peck’s single and scored on Andy Kittel’s groundout.
Durham pitched his finest game of the season to put the Tigers in position for this win. He allowed six hits and walked two batters while striking out seven.
The Tigers get their chance to take down the conference leader this Friday when they play at Prescott. Prescott began the week with a 7-0 MBC record. The Tigers play at home next Tuesday, when Somerset’s squad visits.