NORTHROP - Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial's Nick Kelly delivered what proved to be the game-winning RBI single in the top of the sixth inning on Thursday in Northrop.
Kelly lined a two-out single up the middle to plate Jordan Nelson to extend the visiting Knights' lead to 3-1 en route to a 3-2 prep baseball victory over the Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman Knights.
The odd twist to Kelly's hitting heroics - he produced the clutch single after LCWM's previous batter had been ruled out after causing a one-minute delay due to taking a bathroom break.
RUNDOWN FEELING — Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman shortstop Sam Geistfeld (left) chases Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial runner Devon Hagge in a rundown situation during prep baseball action on Thursday in Northrop. MLGHECT first baseman Alex Weihe (right) watches the action. Photo by Leanna Becker
"In all the time that I've been around (the game of) baseball, I've never seen that call. I didn't know it was a rule," said MLGHECT head coach Scott Chirpich. "I guess we know now."
Kelly's RBI single proved pivotal as the hometown Knights answered with a solo run in the bottom of the sixth to inch within 3-2. Dylan Petrowiak legged out a leadoff infield hit, moved to second base on Jeremy Smith's bloop single to left, advanced 90 more feet when Chandler Greier's grounder was mishandled and scored on a LCWM throwing error.
Ironically, both of LCWM's first two runs against MLGHECT left-handed starting pitcher Jeremy Smith were unearned.
Nick Guentzel reached on a one-out infield hit during the top of the third, took second on a walk to Bryan Davis and wheeled to third when Kolten Barker's grounder was misplayed. Bryson Yackel then plated Guentzel with an RBI fielder's choice.
Davis, who later reached on a two-out error in the fifth, eventually crossed the plate on Yackel's RBI single to break a 1-all tie.
Petrowiak reached on a LCWM miscue to lead off the MLGHECT fourth before trotting home on Dustin DeBell's RBI single down the left-field line.
Davis allowed two runs - both unearned - on four hits, struck out five and walked two in six innings of work to earn the victory for LCWM. Barker fanned one and issued two walks in pitching a hitless and scoreless seventh inning to notch the save.
Smith gave up two unearned runs on only two hits, struck out five and walked four in five frames to receive the loss for MLGHECT. Petrowiak allowed one earned run on two hits in two innings of relief. The right-hander struck out one and walked one.
Sam Geistfeld added a hit for the hometown Knights.
Martin Luther/GHEC/ Truman (1-2, 1-0 Valley) is scheduled to travel to Mountain Lake Area today, although the game's venue could be moved to Truman due to unplayable field conditions in Mountain Lake.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (4-1, 1-0 Valley) plays host to St. Clair at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
LCWM 001 011 0 - 3 4 3
MLGHECT 000 101 0 - 2 4 3
Bryan Davis (WP), Kolten Barker (7, Sv) and Jordan Nelson. Jeremy Smith (LP), Dylan Petrowiak (6) and Tristan Maday.
LOB-MLGHECT 8; LCWM 5. SAC-Devon Hagge (LCWM).
St. Peter 10, Fairmont 1 - Ace pitcher Carolyn Conlon hurled a two-hit complete-game gem to propel the Saints to a 10-1 victory over the Cardinals during South Central Conference softball action on Thursday in St. Peter.
Conlon recorded 13 strikeouts and issued three walks while allowing one unearned run on two hits in seven innings to earn the victory.
Kelly Hilligoss slugged a solo home run for St. Peter, Emily Carpenter doubled and drove in three runs, while Sidney Welp added a single and one RBI.
Tieryn Arens doubled and scored Fairmont's lone run in the top of the fifth, while teammate Kristen Campe added a double on the game.
Cardinal starting pitcher Mikayla Krzywicki allowed eight runs - four earned - on three hits in four frames to absorb the loss. Taylor Schultze gave up two earned runs on four hits and issued one walk in two innings of relief.
Fairmont (0-3, 0-1 SCC) plays host to defending Class AA state champion New Ulm at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Fairmont 000 010 0 - 1 2 4
St. Peter 111 511 x - 10 7 1
Mikayla Krzywicki (LP), Taylor Schultze (5) and Tieryn Arens. Carolyn Conlon (WP) and Molly Card, Alex O'Gorman (6).
St. Peter downed Fairmont, 10-4, during junior varsity action on Thursday in St. Peter.
Payton Walser collected two hits to top the Cardinals' offense, while teammates Abby Fitzgerald, Lisa Craig, Taylor Nuss and Allison Johnston chipped in one hit each.
Nuss and Johnston combined to handle the pitching duties.
Martin County West 20, Cleveland 10 - Jordan Gregory went 4-for-4 with a double, a triple and four RBIs to power the Mavericks to a 20-10, five-inning Valley Conference victory over the Clippers on Thursday in Welcome.
Kate Thiesse delivered a 3-for-4 performance, including a double, to drive in two runs for MCW, while teammate Ellie Kuehl tripled twice in two official at-bats to generate three RBIs. Kuehl also walked twice.
Kennedy Janssen doubled twice in four at-bats to produce two RBIs for the Mavericks, while Shawna Dressen contributed two hits and three RBIs.
Erika Wobbrook went 3-for-4 with four RBIs to top Cleveland's offense, while Molly Zimmerman went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
MCW starting pitcher Rebecca Steen worked the first four frames before exiting prior to the start of the fifth. Steen, however, re-entered in the fifth and closed out her own victory. Steen allowed three runs on six hits, struck out four and walked two in five full frames to net the win.
Martin County West (1-1, 1-1 Valley) plays host to Southwestern United at 5 p.m. today in Welcome.
Cleveland 2 10 07 - 10 8 4
MCW (12)05 3x - 20 18 1
Anna Ely (LP) and Kylie Krause. Rebecca Steen (WP), Jordan Gregory (5), Steen (5) and Shawna Dressen.
Mankato Loyola 10, Madelia/Truman 0 - Ace hurler Jordyn Strachan fired a one-hit shutout to engineer the Crusaders' 10-0, five-inning Valley Conference triumph over the Jayhawks on Thursday in Madelia.
Strachan registered four strikeouts and issued two walks in five frames of work to earn the complete-game win.
Aunikah Bastian went 2-for-3 with one RBI to top the Crusaders' nine-hit effort, while both Jordyn Theuninck and Sam Larsen supplied two hits and two runs scored.
Taylor Thomas collected the Jayhawks' only hit on the game.
M/T starting pitcher Beth Kotewa gave up 10 runs on nine hits, walked four and struck out two in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.
Madelia/Truman (2-2, 1-1 Valley) plays host to St. Clair at 5 p.m. today in Madelia.
M/T 000 00 - 0 1 2
LOY 011 53 - 10 9 1
Winning run scored with two out in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Beth Kotewa (LP) and Ciera Drevlow. Jordyn Strachan (WP) and MaKenna Elert.