Baseball: Marshall capitalizes on Wingers' miscues
MINNEAPOLIS – Even on seemingly ho-hum plays, chaos can ensue. For Red Wing, it was the difference between advancing to the state semifinals and dropping to the consolation bracket.
In the top of the sixth inning of Thursday's Class 3A state quarterfinal, Marshall's Dylan Criquet-Danielson hit a moon shot into the air between first and second base. The baseball veered in the air and fell hard onto the Siebert Field turf as second baseman Brodie Smith was unable to come up with the grab.
“Brodie's been there for us all year and played outstanding defense. We have two captains on the right side of the infield and unfortunately it's a spot right there where that was a major-league pop-up in a high sky,” said Wingers head coach Paul Hartmann. “And we just didn't execute the way we're capable of.”
Trying to stop the threat, a throw to second went high and into the outfield, allowing a Tigers run that ended up being the difference in a 3-1 loss for fourth-seeded Red Wing.
After the pop fly kerfuffle, Marshall's Logan Tomasek drove in his second run of the game with a one-out single.
“Any time you're in a one-game scenario, crazy things can happen,” Hartmann said about the two-error play. “Unfortunately, that happened to us today.”'
Up to the second inning, the Wingers' defense was solid as ever, and Teddy Tauer was routinely making the fifth-seeded Tigers head back to the bench in frustration. Sitting down seven over the first three innings, Red Wing's ace finished the game with 11 strikeouts with four hits and two walks allowed in a complete-game effort.
“They had their ace (Mason Penske) going and I was going. We knew it was going to be a low-scoring game,” Tauer said. “I was locating the fastball and throwing the curveball for strikes.”
Striking out the side in the first inning, including Criquet-Danielson, a Division I commit, Tauer's teammates knew the lefty was on.
“I'll take Teddy Tauer 10 times out of 10 in that matchup with another good pitcher,” said Red Wing right fielder Tyler DeFore.
Through the first five innings, Tauer's only hiccup was a solo home run from Tomasek to lead off the second inning.
“Everybody knows how great Teddy's been for us the last three years. I think that was one of his best performances as a Winger,” Hartmann said. “He didn't let the game get to him. He managed his emotions well. He effectively pitched against one of the top players in the state of Minnesota. He gave us a chance to win.”
Red Wing needed offense to move on. DeFore was able to produce, going 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the fourth inning for the Wingers' first round-tripper of the season.
“At my first at-bat, it wasn't my best. But I knew if (Penske) threw me another pitch like that, if I get a hold of it, it's going to go,” DeFore said. “They were up 1-0 with the home run. I was just hoping I could get on base. Luckily enough, I hit one out to tie it up. It was pretty exciting.”
Hartmann added, “You don't see too many state tournament teams that don't have a home run. … Ty's capable of it and wind or no wind, that was a no-doubter today.”
DeFore had an eye on Penske, but the rest of the lineup struggled against the Marshall senior. No other Winger got a hit in the game. Only DeFore and Zach Harding, thanks to a pair of walks, reached base on Penske as he tallied seven strikeouts in a complete-game victory.
“He was a bulldog,” Hartmann said. “His ball moved a lot, he had a two-seamer that ran in a little bit on our right-handers. And he was able to throw multiple pitches on any count. We got into the habit of guessing a little bit and against a pitcher like that, you have to react more than guess.”
With the loss, Red Wing will face unseeded Mahtomedi in the consolation semifinals at 10 a.m. at Northwestern University in Roseville. The Zephyrs, who beat Red Wing 3-2 on April 21, fell to top-seeded Waconia on Thursday, 2-1, in nine innings.
Marshall 010 002 0 – 3 4 0
Red Wing 000 100 0 – 1 2 2
WP-Mason Penske (M) 7.0IP, 2H, 1R, 2BB, 7K
LP-Teddy Tauer (RW) 7.0IP, 4H, 3R (1ER), 2BB, 11K
M: Logan Tomasek 2-3, HR, RBI-2, R; Ryan VanMoer 1-3, R; Jacob Hess 1-3
RW: Tyler DeFore 2-3, HR, RBI, R, SB; Zach Harding 0-2, BB-2