Amateur Baseball: Aces close out win with a bangFor a moment it looked like Red Wing sat on the edge of yet another late-inning collapse Sunday against Elko at Red Wing Athletic Field.
By: Nick Gerhardt, The Republican Eagle
For a moment it looked like Red Wing sat on the edge of yet another late-inning collapse Sunday against Elko at Red Wing Athletic Field.
That all changed with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the eighth when Aces catcher and co-manager Jimmy Bohmbach connected for a two-run homer to give Red Wing some breathing room and eventually a 7-3 victory over the Express.
“Especially in the eighth inning, we’ve needed to get hits to close games,” Aces player-co-manager Andy Gibart said. “We’ve struggled when we’ve in close games late and getting extra runs like that is great.”
Red Wing (12-13, 1-8 Section 1B) held a 5-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. Elko had just scored two runs in the top of the eighth after the Aces walked four consecutive hitters and gave up a sacrifice fly to score another run.
Bohmbach finished 3-for-3 with four RBI and three runs scored. Bohmbach reached base in all five at-bats.
“We knew we have to win games like this if we’re in the lead at the end of the game,” Bohmbach said. “We knew we have to work hard to get more runs at the end of the game.”
Red Wing pitcher Aaron Johnson came on with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth inning. Johnson escaped with minimal damage after walking in a run, Johnson retired the next three hitters to keep the Aces in front 5-3.
Johnson proved effective at the plate as well. Johnson went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
“I think he was the player of the game by far, closing the game like that and 3-for-3 with a walk,” Gibart said. “He definitely shined today.”
Red Wing hitters have displayed some patience at the plate in its last two victories. The Aces have drawn 13 walks in the past two games and drew seven against the Express. That patience has paid off in hits, too. Red Wing had 11 hits Friday and finished with nine Sunday.
“Earlier on we were having trouble swinging at bad pitches and putting ourselves in holes early in the counts,” Bohmbach said. “Today, we did a better job of waiting for good pitches and hitting it hard somewhere.”
Brady Schroeder started his first career game for the Aces and helped the team pick up its first section victory after starting the season with eight consecutive section losses.
Schroeder, a recent Ellsworth High School graduate, threw seven innings and allowed one run on two hits. Schroeder walked three and struck out two.
“That’s why we’re confident giving him a section start like this,” Gibart said. “We knew he was going to go out and throw well. He’s a polished pitcher.”
Schroeder had thrown just two innings this season prior to getting the start. Johnson had five at-bats entering Sunday’s game.
Red Wing made one error in the game, but turned in a few dazzling defensive plays. Adam Thygesen made a diving stop at second base on a low line drive. Josh Thygesen made a diving catch into short right field and the Aces turned a double play to end the game.
Red Wing will face River Falls Tuesday in Red Wing.