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Amateur Baseball: After delay, Mudhens even series with Aces

Even with a 9-4 lead, there was a bit of apprehension for the Miesville Mudhens on Wednesday.

Thanks to thunderstorms causing Game 2 of the Section 1B second-round series to be suspended in the fourth inning Tuesday, Miesville had to regain that edge they had over the Red Wing Aces before the delay.

“It’s kind of tough coming back like that; it’s a whole new day and anything can happen,” said Mudhens’ catcher Colin Keefe. “We had to keep our bats going.”

Sixteen runs and 20 hits later, Miesville had its offensive swagger back in a hurry as it tied the best-of-three series with Red Wing with a 16-8 victory at the Red Wing Athletic Field.

 “There are always those question marks when play is suspended like that,” said Miesville manager/center fielder Matt Van Der Bosch. “Thankfully, we stayed hot and continued to swing the bat like we did on Tuesday.”

The decisive third game takes place at 8 p.m. Friday at Jack Ruhr Field in Miesville.

“We’re going to Game 3 versus our biggest rival … You can’t expect anything else in this section,” said Aces’ co-manager Andy Gibart. “We’re looking forward to Friday.”

Van Der Bosch added, “We’re not surprised. This is too good of a section for teams to sweep one another.”

Already leading by five runs going into the fifth inning, the Mudhens (20-8) tacked on another run thanks to an RBI single by Charles Bruchu to make it 10-4.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Aces (31-6) closed the gap to 10-6 after RBI singles by Mike Stegora and Adam Thygesen.

Then, after Miesville went up 11-6 in the top of the seventh on an RBI double by Van Der Bosch, the Aces cut the lead back down to four on another one-run single by Thygesen.

Even with a sizeable deficit staring Red Wing in the face, the team was not going to let up. But every time Red Wing tried to get a rally going, the Mudhens’ bats found a way to halt the Aces’ comeback.

“We would get a couple, but (Miesville) would find a way to tack them on again,” Gibart said.

And in the top of the eighth, Miesville turned the game into a laugher.

Bringing 10 players to the plate, the Mudhens racked up five runs on three hits and four walks. Red Wing was forced to use three pitchers in the inning.

Pitching woes by the Aces allowed the first two Miesville runs to score as David Vogelgesang drew a bases-loaded walk to score Andrew Werner and Matt Hanse reached home on a wild pitch. Then with bases loaded, Keefe cracked a bases-clearing double towards the 378-foot mark in center field to make it 16-7.

“It felt good to get that hit, especially after having two horrible at-bats earlier in the game,” said Keefe, who finished 2-for-6 with two doubles, five RBI and two runs scored. “I was fortunate to make good contact with it.”

Eight Mudhens collected multiple hits over the two-day game, including three hits apiece by Vogelgesang, Van Der Bosch and Werner. Van Der Bosch and Alex LaShomb both had three RBI in the victory.

“Our middle guys got rolling,” Van Der Bosch said, “and we got some big boys there in the middle. When those guys get going, it’s hard to stop.”

Thygesen led Red Wing, going 4-for-6 with three RBI as the team finished with 13 total hits. Dave Jenson was 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the loss.

In hopes of making it to the super section, the Aces will send out their top arm on Friday in lefty Aaron Johnson.

“We’re putting our best guy out there on full rest on Friday,” Gibart said. “If we put out our best and we can’t beat Miesville, then they deserve to move on.”