Baseball: Wingers shut out Owatonna in Final Four victoryNot many ninth-graders can handle the pressure of entering a game with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning holding onto a four-run lead. With the other team’s best hitter at the plate. During the Section 1AAA Final Four.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Not many ninth-graders can handle the pressure of entering a game with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning holding onto a four-run lead.
With the other team’s best hitter at the plate.
During the Section 1AAA Final Four.
Then again, not many freshmen are like Red Wing’s Ty Buck.
Buck responded by striking out the first two batters he faced and kept Owatonna scoreless in a 5-0 victory Thursday for the Wingers.
“I don’t really feel anything,” Buck said of pressure situations. “I just try to keep my composure. I just try to go at them.”
Buck’s performances of late have turned him into a not-so-secret weapon for Red Wing. He continues to mow down hitters and Thursday he struck out three in two innings to pick up the save for the fifth-ranked Wingers (20-1, 13-1 Missota).
“It’s not the first time he’s cleaned up my mess,” Red Wing senior Joel Newman, who started on the mound, said. “He’s a freak.”
Newman was equally effective, giving up just one hit in the first five innings, before allowing a walk and two consecutive singles in the sixth inning and giving way to Buck. Newman had five strikeouts and two walks to get the victory.
“They really didn’t get any good at-bats on him,” Red Wing head coach Jim Bohmbach said of Newman. “He just threw a great game.”
Senior Dayton Johnson led the Wingers at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Junior Ryan Boldt was 2-for-3 with a double and two stolen bases.
No Owatonna player had more than one hit. Jordan Howe pitched 5 1/3 innings in the loss, allowing four earned runs on seven hits, three walks and two hit batters. He struck out five.
Howe held Red Wing hitless through the first three innings but the Wingers broke through in the fourth inning. Boldt doubled to deep right field with one out and stole third. After senior Mike Stegora was hit by a pitch, the Wingers ran a double steal and Boldt beat the throw from the shortstop to home, putting Red Wing up 1-0.
Johnson came up with the biggest hit of the night later in the inning, singling with the bases loaded and two outs to score two runs and put Red Wing up 3-0.
“That was huge for us,” Newman said.
Newman set Owatonna down in order the next inning, the most important half inning of the game, Bohmbach said. It kept the momentum on the Wingers’ side.
Red Wing added another run in the fifth inning to go up 4-0. Senior David Goggin doubled to start the inning and came around to score when a pop fly by Boldt fell between the second baseman and right fielder. Then, on the throw home, Boldt was caught in a rundown between first and second base, allowing Goggin to score on a low throw to home by Owatonna. Boldt advanced to second on the play.
“We put the ball in play,” Bohmbach said. “If you put the ball in play you have a chance to get on.”
Johnson doubled with one out in the sixth inning and scored on a single by senior Erin Foley to tally the Wingers’ final run.
“It was a great team effort,” Bohmbach said. “Working together and being unselfish.”
Red Wing plays Rochester John Marshall at 1:30 p.m. today at the Red Wing Athletic Field for a spot in the section championship game.