Amateur Baseball: Aces win two but fall in semis at Dewey Tauer TournamentThe Red Wing Aces will take the pair of wins they picked up at the Dewey Tauer Tournament over the weekend, but the team still has some unresolved issues.
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
The Red Wing Aces will take the pair of wins they picked up at the Dewey Tauer Tournament over the weekend, but the team still has some unresolved issues.
Those issues revolve around the team’s hitting, which has sagged throughout the season and certainly did so at the tournament. The Aces picked up a 10-4 victory over St. Francis to open the tournament Friday in Red Wing and followed that up with a 3-0 win Saturday night over the Prior Lake Jays. Red Wing’s tournament run concluded in the semifinals in a 4-1 loss to River Falls.
The Aces had seven hits in each of the victories, but were limited to five hits against the Fighting Fish. Red Wing went hitless through the first five innings Sunday against River Falls.
“We shored up our defense which was kind of struggling early,” Aces co-manager Andy Gibart said. “That was kind of overshadowing the core issue, which is we haven’t been hitting the ball. We need to get the bats going, plain and simple.”
Red Wing made three errors for the entire tournament and got base runners on against River Falls but struggled to capitalize. The Aces fell behind 3-0 after the top of the third inning and had a chance to get some runs back in the bottom of the third with two outs, but popped out to end the inning.
Red Wing scored its lone run in the bottom of the sixth when center fielder Chris Guetzlaff hit a one-out double. One batter later Dave Jenson delivered an RBI single to score Guetzlaff, but that was it for the Aces. Red Wing got the leadoff hitter on base just once, in the seventh inning when Adam Thygesen reached on an infield single. One batter later, Jimmy Bohmbach hit a single through the right side of the infield to give the Aces runners on first and second with one out. River Falls retired the side on a pop up to first base and a groundout to first base.
“We need to get in a groove hitting and starts with approach at the plate,” Gibart said. “Hitting’s contagious and when you don’t have multiple guys hitting, it just hasn’t worked. We need to get back to fundamentals and try to get to back to playing the way we normally do with stringing hits together. Guys just need to be patient.”
Trevor Gutting got the complete-game victory for the Fighting Fish. Gutting walked four and struck out five. Gutting worked the outside corner well and Red Wing struggled to adjust, popping several balls up in the infield.
Joel Shaeffer led River Falls with a 2-for-4 performance, a run scored and an RBI. Colin Pechacek went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Josh Eiden had two hits.
Jordan Warren started for the Aces and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Warren gave up three runs on eight hits, walked one and struck out one. Dustin LaRue came on in the fourth inning and threw 4 1/3 effective innings. LaRue allowed just one hit.
“Every year we come in we expect to win the tournament and we’ve had great success in the Dewey Tauer Tournament,” Gibart said. “The way we’ve been playing, getting two wins is positive. There’s positive in it that we won a couple games, but it’s disappointing that we aren’t in the championship game.”
Aaron Johnson led Red Wing to one of those two wins Saturday with a two-hit shutout for a 3-0 win against Prior Lake.
The game didn’t start until 10 p.m. and lasted until 11:50 p.m. that night, but that didn’t seem to affect Johnson. Johnson struck out nine and did not walk a hitter.
“He was pure dominant,” Gibart said. “He had every pitch working and he controlled the whole game. He’s our top pitcher, he’s our horse and we need him for games like that. He’s going to be clutch down the stretch for us and if we get the bats going he’ll be even better.”
Red Wing gave Johnson just enough run support with three runs in the sixth inning. Guetzlaff hit a one-out single and Bohmbach and Jenson followed with base hits. Jenson’s hit scored Guetzlaff and Zach Laffey drove in two with a double.
Laffey finished 2-for-3 while Kyle Blahnik and Adam Thygesen had base hits in addition to Guetzlaff, Jenson and Bohmbach.