Baseball: Wingers clinch share of conference titleRed Wing clinched a share of the Missota Conference title for the second consecutive year Thursday with a 4-3 comeback victory over Chanhassen in Red Wing.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing clinched a share of the Missota Conference title for the second consecutive year Thursday with a 4-3 comeback victory over Chanhassen in Red Wing.
The eighth-ranked Wingers got a walk-off win when senior catcher David Goggin laced a single to the gap in right center field to score senior Karsten Lampman from third. Goggin finished 3-for-4 with one RBI.
“It was a huge team win,” senior Joel Newman said. “Everyone on the team contributed. You could name probably more than nine guys that played a role in the win.”
Lampman finished 1-for-2 with two runs from the No. 9 spot in the order and senior third baseman Dayton Johnson went 1-for-2 from the No. 7 spot with an RBI in the sixth that tied the game 3-3. Red Wing (13-1, 11-1 Missota) has two conference games and had a 2.5 game lead over Shakopee heading into Thursday’s game. If the Wingers win their next conference game they will clinch the conference title outright.
The win avenged Red Wing’s lone loss of the season. The Wingers fell 8-4 to the Storm (6-8, 5-6 Missota) May 2 in Chanhassen and the team felt it had something to prove in the second meeting.
“They took care of us pretty good that first time,” Red Wing head coach Jim Bohmbach said. “I think we wanted to come back and make sure they knew how good we are.”
Not only have the Wingers been good this season, but they have also shown pitching depth. Freshman pitcher Ty Buck contributed in a big way for Red Wing in the fifth inning. Buck came on in relief of Newman with the bases loaded and one out. Buck proceeded to strikeout the next two hitters looking to end the inning and the threat.
“We needed a strikeout right there and Joel’s not a strikeout pitcher,” Bohmbach said. “We knew Ty could come in and, if he threw strikes, could get a strikeout. That was a big momentum changer for us.”
Buck closed out the game and finished with four strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. He did not allow a hit or walk a batter to get the win.
Bohmbach and the rest of the Wingers had confidence in the freshman pitcher despite his inexperience on the varsity level.
“Ty’s got all the confidence in the world,” Goggin said. “He might be the first guy to tell you that - I know I will. He’s not afraid of anyone when he’s coming in to pitch, coming in to hit. He’s just got the mentality that he’s going to beat you. That’s exactly what he did.”
After Buck danced out of the fifth inning jam, Red Wing responded with a run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 3-2. Junior center fielder Ryan Boldt drew a bases-loaded walk to score Johnson. The Wingers scored three of their runs in the final three innings.
Through the first four innings Red Wing couldn’t solve left-hander Drake Kilber. The Wingers had just two hits in the first four innings and five in the final three innings. Red Wing trailed 2-0 after the second inning and 3-1 entering the fifth inning.
“Every game we’ve seen a left-handed pitcher, so it’s like why can’t we figure out how to hit a left-handed pitcher until the third or the fourth inning?,” Goggin said. “As soon as we started hitting those first-pitch strikes it kind of made him be more aggressive and that’s where he started throwing balls and we got ahead in the count and got good pitches to hit, which helped out in the later innings.”
The Wingers hit several deep fly balls, including Boldt in the third inning. Boldt hit a pitch to straightaway center field, but the Storm center fielder Brandon Arnold ranged back to the warning track near the 375 foot marker to make the catch. Chanhassen played its outfield deep throughout the game and took away potential extra-base hits.
“They played really deep on us and most teams have played shallow and we’ve been able to hit the ball over them,” Bohmbach said. “Today, they played back and kept the ball in front of them and it paid off for them because I think we could have had two or three doubles.”
The slow start frustrated Goggin, who said the team has to generate runs earlier in the game.
“We figured it out in the late innings, but we’ve got to start putting runs up right away,” Goggin said. “That’s mine, Ryan’s and Zach’s (Garner) goal being the top three guys that we want to score the first run 80 percent of the time.”
Newman battled through 4 1/3 innings in his start. He gave up three runs, one earned, on seven hits, struck out three and walked two. Newman benefited from two double plays to avoid further damage. Mike Busch lined out to Garner at short and Garner threw to first to double up the runner and get the Wingers out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning. Red Wing turned a double play in the following inning as well, but still finished with four errors.
The Wingers will play Hudson Saturday at 7 p.m. in Red Wing and close out the conference schedule with Holy Angels and Farmington next week.