Amateur Baseball: Red Wing blows by Miesville
MIESVILLE – The loud pops coming from Jack Ruhr Field were not from Fourth of July fireworks. Rather, it was Red Wing’s wood bats cracking the ball across the diamond, and it was the pop from the catcher’s glove as Aces pitcher Aaron Johnson dominated on the mound.
Thanks to a one-hit performance from Johnson, and a 13-hit effort from Red Wing’s lineup, the Aces blew out Miesville for a 14-1 Classic Cannon Valley League victory on Independence Day.
In an up-and-down 2014 season, getting the convincing victory over the rival Mudhens was the kind of win Red Wing has desperately needed.
“This was huge,” said Johnson, who struck out 10 while allowing two walks. “We’re getting toward the last part of the season now, and hopefully we can keep this going and continue to that trek towards the playoffs.”
Last week Miesville pitcher Andrew Werner threw a no-hitter at home against Randolph. However, he would not have that same level of success against the Aces on Friday. Red Wing went up 1-0 in the top of the second inning after an RBI single by Zach Garner, then tacked in two more runs in the third with a two-run home run by Zach Laffey.
The Aces’ biggest struggle this season has been at the plate. But against the Mudhens, they finally were able to sit back, wait for the right pitch and make Werner pay in his four innings of work.
“I was telling the guys after the game that it just came down to us being patient,” said Red Wing manager/designated hitter Jimmy Bohmbach. “I don’t remember too many swings we had where we weren’t swinging at strikes. I know it frustrated their pitchers.”
The power stayed on display for Red Wing as Garner hit a two-run homer in the fourth, and Laffey went deep one more time with a three-run shot as part of a five-run seventh inning.
“We wore (Werner) down quickly. And the wind was helping a little bit, for me at least,” said Laffey, who went 2-for-3 with two runs and five RBI. “It just seemed like everyone came ready to play. The bats came alive the last game (against Randolph) and that carried over.”
Bohmbach, who was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs, added, “They were trying to get us to swing at bad pitches and we wouldn’t. Laffey was waiting for one over the plate and once he got ‘em, he was able to hit it out with the wind blowing out.”
Kyle Blahnik had a strong game with three hits, including two doubles, and three runs scored. Steve Boldt was 2-for-3 with a double and a run, and Garner and Adam Thygesen each scored twice in the victory.
As Red Wing’s batters rolled through the Mudhens’ pitching staff, Johnson was cruising on the hill, sitting just three outs away from throwing a seven-inning no-hitter.
“I took a glance at the scoreboard as I was going out there for the seventh,” Johnson said. “I knew it was going to be tough.”
The leadoff batter in the seventh, Charles Bruchu, ended the no-hitter hopes with a ground single through the infield.
“I made a good pitch to him,” Johnson said, “but he got his bout out there and put it in the right spot.”
Trying to finish his strong performance, Johnson chalked up three strikeouts in the final frame to end his afternoon on a high note.
“He was on,” said Miesville manager/center fielder Matt Van Der Bosch. “He was hitting every spot, mixing in a good curveball, throwing changeups to righties. He pitched phenomenal today. Hats off to him.”
The Mudhens’ lone run came in the sixth when Eric Olson, after reaching base on an error, plated a run thanks to a passed ball.
After some tough starts this season, the Aces’ run support was the extra boost Johnson needed to get the win.
“Just getting the runs right off the bat, it helped settle me down a little bit,” Johnson said. “I knew I had to go out there and throw strikes. We’re the better team, and we’ve shown it all year, but we haven’t caught the breaks at the right time. And today we put it all together.”
Red Wing heads to River Falls on Wednesday before hosting Blaine Fusion at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Miesville hosts three games this week with Cannon Falls on Tuesday, Lake City on Wednesday and Hastings on Friday.