Zumbrota-Mazeppa Baseball Wins H-V-L Blue
The Zumbrota-Mazeppa Cougars traveled to Wanamingo today for a doubleheader with the Kenyon-Wanamingo Knights, The Cougars needed to win just one game to win the Hiawatha Valley League Blue Division and did just that.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa erupted for 5 runs in the second inning of the first game en route to a 9-4 victory. Kenyon-Wanamingo captured game two 6-1.
In the opener the Cougars Peter Meyer smacked a one out double in the top of the first inning. After the second out was recorded third baseman Kaleb Stensland singled to right field scoring Meyers for the first run.
In the bottom of the inning the Knights answered. With one out shortstop Gavin Sommer and designated hitter Owen Hilke cracked back to back doubles to even the score.
In the top of the second inning Z-M second baseman Connor Preston led the inning off with a double. Pitcher Ethan Kovars was walked by Kenyon-Wanamingo starting pitcher Trevor Steberg. Right fielder Tyson Liffrig hit an RBI single. #9 batter in the order Tanner Gates hit a ball to Sommer at shortstop.
Sommer looked like he was going to throw to first base but instead got Liffrig in a rundown between second and third. He was eventually tagged out.
On the very next pitch Steberg tried to pick Gates off first base and the throw went down the first baseline into right field allowing Gates to go to third base.
The top of the order was back at the plate. Centerfielder Mitchell Meyer hit an RBI single. Shortstop Peter Meyer singled then catcher Willie Holm hit an RBI single before the final two outs were recorded. Five runs scored on five hits.
The Cougars added a run in the third inning. With one out Kovars hit a single and his courtesy runner Drew Christopherson stole second base. During a Liffrig at bat a wild pitch allowed him to go to third base. Liffrig was walked and stole second. Gates clubbed a RBI single, stole second base.
The inning ended when Mitchell Meyer hit into a double play. The score was 7-1.
Kovars retired eight straight Kenyon-Wanamingo batters going into the bottom of the fourth inning. The inning opened with a single by Hilke.
With one out second baseman Bray Olson was walked. Centerfielder Alec Johson hammered a RBI single. Hilke had advanced to third base on a wild pitch so he easily scored on the single.
Following a strikeout Steberg stroked a RBI single to make the score 7-3.
Peter Meyer led off the sixth inning with a single in my book. Following a fly out and groundout first baseman Jake Mehrkens hit a bloop single to right field scoring Meyer making the score 8-3 Zumbrota-Mazeppa.
In the bottom of 5th inning Kenyon-Wanamingo had runners at second and third with two outs and did not score.
The bottom of the sixth inning started with a Alec Johnson single. Paul Kortsch went with the pitch and placed the ball perfectly into right field. Following a strikeout third baseman Kevin Vazquez walked.
Alec Johnson scored when Tyler Craig hit a grounder to short and the Cougars tried but were unsuccessful in turning a double play. The score was 8-4 going into the final inning.
In the top of the 7th following a groundout Liffrig was walked and stole second base during a Gates at bat. Gates lined out to left field. Mitchell Meyer then stroked a RBI single to left center field to give the Cougars another insurance run.
Kovars was replaced in the bottom of the 7th inning with Peter Meyer. Meyer barely worked up a sweat throwing 9 total pitches to retire the side in the 7th and secure the Cougars victory.
Kovars threw 98 pitches in six innings, 62 strikes. He had 3 strikeouts, 3 walks and allowed 8 hits in the win.
Steberg left after 5 innings pitched with 88 pitches thrown, 65 strikes, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks, 12 hits allowed. Tyler Craig threw the sixth inning. 11 total pitches, 8 strikes, 1 strikeout, 2 hits. Bray Olson took the mound in the 7th inning.
Olson threw 18 pitches, 11 strikes with no strikeouts and 1 walk, 1 hit allowed.
Game two Tyler Craig pitched for Kenyon-Wanamingo going the first 6 innings with 2 strikeouts, 3 walks, 6 hits allowed. 81 total pitches thrown, 49 strikes.
The Knights scored two runs in the top of the first. Craig opened the game by walking off Z-M starting pitcher Kaleb Stensland. Sommer hit a solid single to score Craig.
Hilke smacked an RBI single. Luke Berg hit into a fielder's choice before the final two outs were recorded.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa cut the lead in half when they scored a run in the bottom of the third inning. The first two batters were retired by fly outs. Holm hammered a double.
Blake Lochner connected for a RBI single.
In the top of the 5th inning after one out Craig was safe on an error. Sommer crushed a RBI single and took second base on the throw to home plate. Craig would score later on an error to make the score 4-1 Kenyon-Wanamingo in the lead.
The top of the 6th inning started with Alex Vold reaching base safely thanks to an error. Alec Johnson gained first on a fielder's choice. The first out was recorded on a pop up.
#9 hitter Jaedin Johnson hit an RBI single to left field. Craig reached on a infield single.
The Knights win snapped a six game losing streak.
Kenyon-Wanamingo is 9-10 and hosts Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton in the single elimination first round of Section 2AA. It's do or die first game and then turns into double elimination the rest of the way.
Zumbrota-Mazeppa is 8-6. They are in Section 1 Class 2A and the seeds not out as of Wednesday night.
We are blessed with some nice professional sports facilities.
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