Clutch play keeps Hens alive at state
The Miesville Mudhens opened the Class B Minnesota Baseball Association State Tournament with a 1-1 record to stay alive.
The Mudhens dropped the opening game 2-0 to Chaska last Saturday in Hutchinson.
The Cubs took a 1-0 lead in the third inning and added to it in the sixth with a run.
Miesville committed four errors in the game and neither run was earned.
"We just had guys out of position," Mudhens manager Matt Van Der Bosch said. "We were missing our first baseman, catcher, starting second baseman and an outfielder."
Mudhens' starter Luke Rasmussen went eight innings, allowed five hits and struck out seven in the loss.
Chaska's Ryan Seifert, a former Colorado Rockies AAA pitcher, got the victory by holding Miesville to four hits in nine innings of work. Seifert walked one and struck out 15.
Van Der Bosch, Andrew Warner, Max Ryan and Tyler Beaulieu had base hits for the Mudhens.
Two-strike bunt keeps Hens going
Miesville met the Austin Greyhounds Sunday and came up with a 5-4 victory to remain alive in the tournament.
The Mudhens rallied from a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the eighth with two runs and won it in the final frame.
In the ninth, Matt Hanse singled to center field to start the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two strikes, Andy Otto laid down a bunt that advanced Hanse to third. The Greyhounds walked Van Der Bosch and Pat Pohl grounded into a fielder's choice to bring in the go-ahead run.
Van Der Bosch went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a home run, and Andrew Warner went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Don Huemoeller also went 2-for-4.
Erik Olson picked up the win in relief of Chris Olean. Olson pitched the last two innings, allowed one hit and struck out two.
Miesville trailed 1-0 in the top of the fifth when Van Der Bosch struck for a two-run homer to give the Mudhens a 2-1 lead. The lead did not last long as the Greyhounds came back for three runs in the bottom half.
Craig Braaten doubled in the fifth to score one run, Tyler Leopold grounded out to score another run and Braaten scored on an error to give Austin a 4-2 lead.
Miesville came back in the eighth after Pohl led off with a walk. David Olson followed with a single to move Pohl to third and Warner brought Pohl in with an RBI single to make it 4-3. With the tying run on third, the Mudhens put on the squeeze play to push the run across. The tactic worked as designed and Olson tied the game.
"We pieced it together and scraped a win out," Van Der Bosch said. "We decided to go to the squeeze and we took them by surprise."
Miesville moves on to face Burnsville Saturday in Brownton. Burnsville won its opening game 2-1 in 10 innings against Moorhead, but fell to Mankato in the second round. The Mudhens lost to Burnsville 8-7 in 10 innings May 17 in Burnsville.
"They pitch well and they play good defense," Van Der Bosch said. "Hopefully we can get to the pitchers."
Mankato will face Sauk Rapids in the winner's bracket while Savage and Chaska meet in the other loser's bracket game.