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Amateur Baseball: Aces blanked by Hastings

Red Wing pitcher JT Cunningham lines up a pitch during the first inning of Sunday's Classic Cannon Valley League game against Hastings at the Red Wing Athletic Field. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)1 / 3
Red Wing designated hitter Zach Laffey connects with a pitch for a leadoff double in the second inning Sunday against Hastings. Laffey was the only Aces player to reach second in the team's 1-0 loss. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)2 / 3
Red Wing first baseman Jimmy Bohmbach reaches down for a backhand grab for an out during Sunday's CCVL game against Hastings in Red Wing. (Republican Eagle photo by Joe Brown)3 / 3

The Red Wing Aces’ success at the plate has been fleeting all season.

Just days after beating up on River Falls 9-0 at the Red Wing Athletic Field, the Aces returned home on Sunday and could only string together three hits in a 1-0 Classic Cannon Valley League loss to Hastings.

“It kind of reminds us of a few years ago when we struggled at the start because of our bats,” said Red Wing manager/first baseman Jimmy Bohmbach. “All it’s going to take is one game or a couple of guys to get us going.”

The only Aces’ player to advance past first base was designated hitter Zach Laffey, who led off the bottom of the second inning with a double down the right-field line. But he stayed stranded on the bag for the rest of the inning as the Aces failed to drive him home.

Unable to hit balls into the gaps, the Aces tried some small-ball strategies. But sacrifice bunts by Adam Thygesen in the sixth and Steve Boldt in the ninth popped up for easy outs at second, negating the sacrifice.

“Both times the ball went up in the air and the runners at first had to pause,” Bohmbach said. Both of those were inning killers. That’s something we need to work on as well; if we’re not going to score a lot, we have to play small ball.”

On the mound, Aces starting pitcher JT Cunningham did everything in his power to keep the run-challenged team in the game. Over eight innings, Cunningham struck out three while limiting the Hawks to five hits and no walks.

“JT gave us another great performance,” Bohmbach said. “He hasn’t slowed down this season and he gave us every opportunity to stay in it. We just didn’t take advantage.”

It took Hastings until the eighth inning to finally crack Cunningham as the leadoff batter, Wes Hedlund, reached after a fielding error. Then with two outs, Austin LaDoux cracked a double to center field that was just out of reach of a diving Mike Hommes to score the game’s lone run.

Outdueling Cunningham was Hawks pitcher Jaryd Marks, who got a complete-game victory after striking out four while allowing just three hits and two walks.

On Tuesday, Red Wing is back at home, hosting the Austin Greyhounds. 

Joe Brown

Joe Brown is the sports editor for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he worked at the Marshall Independent and the St. Cloud Times. For updates on local sports, follow Joe on Twitter at @RE_JBrown.

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