WELCOME - Martin County West senior Alex Biehn stepped to the plate with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning and runners on first and second.
Biehn, who came in and pitched three innings of relief, allowing just two hits and striking out four, also delivered the game-winning hit to give the Mavericks a 7-6 nonconference victory over the Blue Earth Area Bucs on Friday at the Fox Lake Area Sports Complex in Welcome.
Parker Leiding led off the inning for the Mavericks by blooping a single into centerfield. Leiding then swiped second on a Quinn Huisman delivery, causing the Bucs to intentionally walk Jake Faber.
OUT AT HOME — Blue Earth Area catcher Kellen Jacobs prepares to catch the throw to the plate as Martin County West runner Alex Biehn tries to score on the play during nonconference baseball action Friday at the Fox Lake Area Sports Complex in Welcome. Biehn was called out on the play by home plate umpire Travis Schuett (left). (Photo by Leanna Becker)
After fouling off three straight pitches, Toby Haugen struck out and Tony Payne flew out to the Bucs' centerfielder Blake Peterson, leaving the runners on first and second.
Biehn, who went 2-for-4 at the plate, then crushed the first pitch he faced into left field, allowing Leiding to race home from second for the game-winning run.
"This was a good game for us, we really grew a lot from this game," said Martin County West head coach Cody Leiding. "First, we were up, then we got down, but we were able to come back and get the win. There's still things to work on, but this was a good game."
The Mavericks took a 4-0 lead going into the fifth inning, thanks to a pair of two-run innings in the third and fourth.
The Bucs responded in the top of the fifth though, smacking all six of their runs while batting through the lineup to take a 6-4 lead.
Alex Stewart's floating hit to right led off the scoring outburst for the visitors.
Kellen Jacobs then sent a hard-hit grounder toward the third baseman and reached first on an error, sending Stewart to second.
Huisman, who came in and pitched 4 1/3 innings of relief for the Bucs, then drew a walk to load the bases.
"I thought this was a great game, two evenly-matched teams and both teams had their chances," said Blue Earth Area head coach Todd Schmidtke. "We had our lead at one point, and had a chance to win it at the end, but they were able to get the hit when they needed to."
Peterson went down swinging for the first Bucs' out of the inning, before Alec Huber pulled a pitch deep into left field for a double to plate a pair of RBIs.
Stewart and Jacobs both scored on the hit, before Jack Kennedy laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Huisman's pinch runner, Charlie Allis, to cut the deficit to 4-3.
With Huber on third, David Franta drew a walk on four straight pitches to put runners on the corners for the Bucs with two out.
Franta then went to steal second and Haugen attempted to throw out the Bucs' senior, allowing Huber to race home to tie the game at 4-4.
With Franta on third, thanks to the throw down to second, Luke Schavey, who went 2-for-4 to lead the Bucs at the plate, drew another walk for the Bucs to have runners on first and third.
With Maverick reliever Alex Saxen's delivery finding the backstop for a pair of pitches during Seth Anderson's at-bat, Franta was able to race home and Schavey wheeled to third.
Anderson then capped the comeback inning with a sizzling single up the middle to score Schavey to grab a 6-4 lead.
The Mavericks knotted the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth inning, thanks to a Haugen double.
Leiding led off the inning by drawing a walk, before swiping second early on in Faber's at-bat.
After Faber, who went 3-for-4 in the game, flew out to right field, Haugen stepped to the plate and delivered a blistered hit to right to score Leiding to make it 6-5.
Haugen then wheeled to second on a Huisman wild pitch, before racing home to score the tying run on an infield grounder off the bat of Payne.
Huisman allowed three runs on three hits, struck out three and walked five to take the loss for the Bucs.
Payne pitched 4 1/3 innings for the Mavericks, allowing four runs - three earned - on three hits, striking out five and walking one to take the no decision.
Martin County West (3-3) play host to Loyola in a Valley Conference game at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at Fox Lake Area Sports Complex in Welcome.
Blue Earth Area (3-3, 0-2 SCC) plays host to Sleepy Eye-St. Mary's in a 5:30 p.m. game on Monday in Blue Earth.
BEA 000 060 00 - 6 6 3
MCW 002 202 01 - 7 9 1
Mathew Bell, Quinn Huisman (4, LP) and Kellen Jacobs. Tony Payne, Cole Spear (5), Alex Saxen (5), Alex Biehn (5, WP) and Toby Haugen.
LOB-BEA 9; MCW 9. 2B-Alec Huber (BEA), Jake Faber (MCW) and Toby Haugen (MCW) 2. SAC-Jack Kennedy (BEA).