Baseball: Red Wing starts the season with final inning victoryChaska intentionally walked Ryan Boldt and David Goggin to face Mike Stegora with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning but a wild pitch allowed the Red Wing baseball team to walk off with a 4-3 victory Monday at the Red Wing Athletic Field.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Chaska intentionally walked Ryan Boldt and David Goggin to face Mike Stegora with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning but a wild pitch allowed the Red Wing baseball team to walk off with a 4-3 victory Monday at the Red Wing Athletic Field.
The Wingers committed two errors in the game and survived a few other miscues, including a collision between Stegora and Boldt in the outfield, to get the victory.
“You clean that up, it’s a different game,” Red Wing head coach Jim Bohmbach said. “They know how to win a ballgame.”
Senior Zach Garner scored the winning run and pitched the first four innings for the Wingers (1-0). He allowed one earned run on two hits and struck out four. At the plate, Garner went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and two RBI.
Boldt, a junior, ended 1-for-3 with a double and two stolen bases but hit line drives in all three official at-bats. Senior Joel Newman pitched the final three innings, striking out three, to get the win.
“There were times where I had doubt,” Garner said of securing a season-opening win. “But we’re the team that pulls it through in the end.”
Tanner Judd started on the mound for Chaska, allowing four hits and giving up two earned runs in four innings. The Hawks finished with three hits and Tony Kjolsing led Chaska with two singles and two runs scored.
Garner got the first two outs easily to open the game but a hit-by-pitch and a dropped fly ball gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Chaska added another run in the top of the second inning on a fielder’s choice that allowed Judd to score from second base. At that point, the Hawks led 2-0 without a hit.
Red Wing delivered its first runs of the season in the second inning on a two-out, two-RBI triple by Garner down the right-field line. The Wingers added another run to lead 3-2 in the third inning after Boldt got on base on an error by the Chaska centerfielder, then stole second and third base before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Stegora.
The Hawks tied the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning on a throwing error by Garner at shortstop.
Garner found redemption in the seventh when he doubled with one out in the inning, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the game-winning run on another pitch in the dirt that bounced away from Chaska’s catcher.
“I just wanted to score and win that game,” Garner said. “I was just waiting for that passed ball.”
Bohmbach said Red Wing was a little too aggressive in its first game, swinging at pitches early in counts. In the sixth inning, the Wingers went down 1-2-3, all fly ball outs while only seeing seven pitches.
“A lot of it has to do with anxiety,” Bohmbach said. “We’ll try to use that as a learning experience.”
Red Wing’s pitching staff also had some control issues, walking or hitting six Hawks. Garner said he felt OK on the mound but his changeup was better than usual.
“It was the first game, so it was rusty,” he said. “I threw a lot more changeups this game for strikes.”
Bohmbach said the pitchers did a great job working around the free passes. A little wildness is expected in the first game of the season.
“We walked more people than we usually do,” Bohmbach said. “But hitters are usually further along (at the beginning of the season) than pitchers.”
Chaska walked seven Wingers.
It wasn’t a clean first game for Red Wing but pulling out those close games are important as the season gets under way.
“We just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” Garner said. “We just need to clean it up a little and we’ll be fine.”
The Wingers’ next game is against New Prague Thursday in New Prague.