Aces outlast Dundas in 15 innings
The Red Wing Aces won a marathon contest over the Dundas Dukes Friday night by a score of 5-3. The Section 1B playoff game went 15 innings and took over four hours to complete before the Aces got the win.
"This was a big thing for us to beat Dundas on their home field," Red Wing assistant manager Andy Gibart said. "We kept fighting and ended up being the better team tonight."
Kyle Blahnik's 5-for-7 performance at the plate and Steve Boldt's six strong innings in relief were the star performances for the Aces.
Red Wing advances to face Hastings at 8 p.m. tonight in Dundas. The winner receives the second spot in the Class B Super Sectionals. Miesville has already clinched the first spot.
How it played out
The Aces took an early lead with a run in the second inning when Blahnik scored on a double from Andy Schilling.
Red Wing went ahead 2-0 when Jimmy Bohmbach blasted a home run in the fourth inning.
Dundas answered with a run in the bottom of the seventh and tied the game with another run in the bottom of the eighth. The game was still tied 2-2 after nine frames.
In the 10th inning, both relievers struck out the side - former Cannon Falls standout Charlie Ruud got three strikeouts for Dundas and Boldt fanned three batters for the Aces.
Both teams scored one run in the 11th frame. Red Wing's came when Ryan Boldt led off with an infield single and eventually scored on a bloop single from Bohmbach.
In the 15th inning, Blahnik had a two-out single and Zach Laffey followed with a walk. Tyler Goering hit a bloop single to left to score Blahnik. Andy Schilling walked to load the bases and Jake Laffey had a basehit to left to score Zach Laffey.
The Aces were able to shutout Dundas in the bottom of the frame to seal the win and end the Dukes' season.
Boldt earned the win on the mound. Andy Gibart, Jorden Warren and Aaron Johnson all also pitched for the Aces. Gibart said he was pleased the Aces were able to save Josh Thygesen, who will get the start in tonight's game.
Red Wing player and assistant manager Andy Gibart called Miesville starter Chris Olean a "big game pitcher" following Wednesday's Section 1B playoff game. The praise couldn't have been more accurate, as the big righty threw eight innings and had a no-hitter going into the fifth inning in the first game of the Section 1B playoffs. Miesville triumphed, winning 5-1.
"Typical Olean outing," Gibart said. "We know what he has and we just didn't hit the ball."
"I don't think there's really anything to take from this game. Plain and simple, you need to hit the ball to score runs," he added.
Olean cruised through the Aces lineup while only walking two and had them struggling to hit the ball sharply. Out of the two Aces hits, one was an infield single by Kyle Blahnik and one was a blooper to short right by Ryan Boldt.
"Chris pitched awesome," Miesville's Matt Van Der Bosch said. "He didn't try to overthrow for strikeouts, he pitched to contact most of the night. His stuff is as good as any."
Red Wing's lone run wasn't earned, either. Blahnik reached on an error by third baseman Andrew Werner to lead off the inning and Adam Thygesen, the leadoff hitter for the Aces, later knocked Blahnik in on a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Aaron Johnson started for the Aces and went 8 1/3 innings. He struck out eight and gave up six hits but walked eight - one intentional - and surrendered four runs.
"They don't chase a lot of pitches," Johnson said of the dangerous Miesville lineup. "You can't really set them up and they're not going to chase the pitch you want them to swing at. That just makes it hard to throw strikes."
Johnson did all he could to keep the Aces in the game as he went into the sixth down only 2-0. Van Der Bosch then broke the game open with a two-out double off the right field wall that scored two.
Werner and David Olson led the Miesville offensive attack. Werner was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run, while Olson went 2-for-4 with a run.
The loss pits Red Wing against the Dukes at their home field, a team the Aces fell to twice earlier in the regular season.
"We just need to regroup," Gibart said. "We need to be ready for the elimination game Friday."
The Mudhens travel to Dundas tomorrow to square off against the fourth-seeded Hastings Hawks, who beat Dundas 3-0 on Tuesday. The first pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m.
"(Hastings) is as good a team as any in the playoffs," Van Der Bosch said. "They're always locked in at this time."