Albert Lea baseball beats Winona twice, now 8-4
The Albert Lea baseball team traveled to Winona Thursday afternoon for a doubleheader in Big Nine Conference play.
After a tough loss to Mankato East Tuesday night, the Tigers came out victorious in both games, now winners of eight of their last nine games.
The first game was a defensive battle for both teams. The Tigers got on the board in the first inning when senior Trevor Ball hit a single that brought in fellow senior Jack Jellinger.
Neither team put runs on the scoreboard through the next several innings until the top of the sixth when Jellinger hit a single that brought in junior Brennan Bakken.
The Tigers went into the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead. However, the Winhawks put on the pressure by leading up the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning. A shallow pop fly put one out on the board before a deep pop fly allowed one of the runners to tag up and score from third. With a runner in scoring position, Albert Lea needed just one more out to secure the victory. That out came in the next at-bat with a pop up caught by catcher Cody Yokiel.
Hits were hard to come by in the first game. Jellinger was the lone Tiger with multiple hits, recording two. Bakken, Ball, senior Joey Flores and junior Cam Davis each recorded one hit.
Senior Blake Ulve started on the mound for the Tigers and went all the way, pitching 7.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits, while striking out five and walking three.
The Tigers won the first game 2-1.
Albert Lea scored two runs on six hits and recorded one error. Winona scored one run on six hits and recorded two errors.
The second game was more full of offense, especially for the Tigers, who recorded 14 hits in the game.
Albert Lea started the game by scoring two runs in the first inning, as Ball hit a sacrifice bunt that brought in Jellinger and junior Henry Eggum singled to left field, bringing in Jellinger. Carter Miller came around for a run in the second inning after an error by the Winona first baseman.
The Winhawks cut into the lead in the bottom half of the second, but Albert Lea got that run back in the fourth when Jellinger singled to bring in junior Trey Hill.
Winona made the game interesting when back-to-back errors by the Tigers in the fifth inning scored a run, and was followed by a three-run homer, giving the Winhawks a 5-4 lead.
The Tigers responded by scoring five runs in the bottom half of the sixth and taking the lead back once and for all.
Ball hit a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing in Hill. Eggum hit a single that brought in one run, followed by Ethan Ball hitting a bases-clearing double. The shot gave Albert Lea a 9-5 lead, and would remain there until the end of the game.
Numerous Tigers had multiple hits in the second game. Eggum led with three hits, while Bakken Flores, Jellinger and Ethan Ball all had two. Trevor Ball, Ulve and Yokiel each tallied one.
Jellinger got the win for the Tigers pitching 5.0 innings, allowing five runs on four hits, and recording nine strikeouts and one walk. Miller came in for the save, pitching two innings, allowing zero runs on zero hits, while striking out three and walking none.
Albert Lea scored nine run on 14 hits and recorded five errors. Winona scored five runs on four hits and recorded one error.
The Tigers improve to 8-4 this season and will be back on the diamond Thursday when they host the Scarlets of Mankato West.