Amateur Baseball: Aces storm past Bears
CANNON FALLS –Red Wing needed to find a way to put Cannon Falls away.
Despite holding the lead throughout Sunday’s Classic Cannon Valley League game at John Burch Park, the Aces just didn’t feel at ease. And then Zach Laffey had Red Wing relaxed with one swing of the bat.
In the top of the ninth inning, Laffey connected with a three-run home run, letting the Aces cruise to a 7-2 road victory.
“We had to keep fighting with (Cannon Falls) until the end and find a way to keep them down,” said Laffey, who finished 3-for-5 with four RBI. “It was definitely a timely hit, and we needed that cushion.”
“We came ready to play today,” Laffey added. “We had a sour taste in our mouths after losing to Miesville last week.”
Facing Bears’ relief pitcher Cory Hedeen, Laffey found a pitch inside and crushed it over the fence in right-center.
“Last year, Zach started to find his bat late in the season, and now, he’s starting to feel it again,” said Aces catcher/co-manager Jimmy Bohmbach. “We wanted to get as many runners on as we could on base for him today.”
Red Wing looked to be in cruise control after the top of the first when Bohmbach belted a two-run double into right field that scored Adam Thygesen and Steve Boldt.
Cannon Falls responded in the bottom half as Brandon Voth brought home Keith Meyers on a sacrifice fly. But as the Bears looked to be on the verge of tying the game at 2-2, they simply couldn’t get another run in, stranding five runners on base over the first two innings.
“We haven’t been able to get two-out hits when we needed them,” said Meyers, Cannon Falls’ left fielder/manager. “We just haven’t been able to punch one through.”
After getting his way out of the early jams, Red Wing starting pitcher Jordan Warren held the Bears to just four hits over the first five innings. He finished with four strikeouts and two walks in eight innings of work for the victory.
“(Warren’s pitching) helped today, and the defense played well enough around him,” Bohmbach said. “He was able to figure out the strike zone and really make them work to get on base.”
Bohmbach helped the Aces add to their lead in the sixth, opening the frame with a double. Laffey, the next batter, connected with a hit down the third-base line to put Red Wing up 3-1.
“My first at-bat, I got everything but a fastball, and I fouled off everything until I finally got a fastball,” said Bohmbach, who finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored. “The whole game, I was waiting to see the fastball.”
Again, the Bears would make it a one-run game in the bottom of the sixth when Luke Winchell brought home Josh Harrison with an RBI single.
Red Wing looked to make it a two-run game again in the seventh as Josh Thygesen reached base from the leadoff spot on a wild pitch. Advancing into scoring position on a Cannon Falls error, Thygesen reached home when Bohmbach put the ball into shallow right field.
Needing to stay within striking distance of the Aces in the bottom of the seventh, the Bears got a two-out hit from Rich Burr, and Meyers made the dash for home plate. Red Wing left fielder Dave Jenson came up throwing, making an accurate toss to Bohmbach at home to get the final out, keeping Cannon Falls off the board.
“It was disappointing that we had eight good hits today and we couldn’t plate any more runs,” Meyers said.
Jenson was 2-for-4 with a double, and Alex Quiding was 2-for-5 in the Aces’ victory. Meyers finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored, and Winchell was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Bears.
Red Wing (20-5, 8-3 CCVL) returns home Wednesday to face Dundas. Cannon Falls (10-7, 4-6 CCVL) is also in action Wednesday at Hastings.