August 2, 2012 at 9:09 a.m.
Mora 6, Chisago Lakes 5 Chisago Lakes 13, Mora 5 The Wildcat American Legion baseball team followed up their first win of the season, a 6-5 victory or Milaca, with a doubleheader split at home against Mora. The Wildcats lost the first game 6-5 before their bats exploded in a 13-5 win in the second game. In the first game, Mora scored three runs in the top of the first. Miles Turk walked to lead off the bottom of the inning.
Dylan Magnuson singled to center and Joe Davis walked to load the bases. Matt Hasselquist doubled to the left field corner to score two runs. One out later, Ryan Biernath singled to left to drive in Davis. Hasselquist scored when Kyle Buchanan reached on an error, and the Wildcats led 4-3. In the top of the third, Mora loaded the bases with no outs. The next batter hit a fly ball to medium deep left field. Left fielder Ryan Biernath made the catch and fired the ball toward the plate. Third baseman Hasselquist cut the ball off on the edge of the infield grass, whirled and threw the ball home. The ball hit the dirt about ten feet from the plate and bounced high. Catcher Buchanan jumped high to catch the ball and reached back to his left to tag the runner trying to slide around him to complete the double play and preserve the Wildcat lead. Mora scored a run later in the third to tie the game at 4-4. The Wildcats bats fell silent after the first inning. Mora scored single runs in the sixth and seventh to take a 6-4 lead. In the bottom of the seventh, Miles Turk struck out to lead off the inning, but reached first after the ball got by the catcher.
Dylan Magnuson smashed ball over the right fielder’s head for a triple, driving in Turk to pull the Wildcats within one. But a groundout and two popups stranded Magnuson at third, and the Wildcats lost 6-5. Tyler Rivard pitched a complete game for the Wildcats. After allowing three runs in the first inning, he settled down and allowed just two earned runs the rest of the way. In the nightcap, the Wildcats scored six runs in the fifth inning to break open a close game, going on to beat Mora 13-5. Kellen Reed was 3-3 at the plate with three runs scored and three RBIs – two of them when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in both the first and second innings. Other hitting stars included Miles Turk, who had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two; Joe Davis, who singled, walked twice, was hit by a pitch and scored two runs; Matt Hasselquist, who drove in two runs – one with a single and one when he was hit by a pitch; Gabe Gustafson, who drove in three runs; and Jake Sandgren, who singled, doubled and scored two runs. Hasselquist pitched the first three innings, and Hunter Lindstrom and Dylan Magnuson each pitched two to combine for the win. Cambridge-Isanti 17, Chisago Lakes 16 (11 innings) The Wildcats ended the 2012 season with a wild one. They scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie Cambridge at 16-16 before losing 17-16 in eleven innings.
The loss knocked the Wildcats out of the subdistrict playoffs. The game was played Tuesday, July 24 at Princeton. The Wildcats had lost 13-2 to St. Francis the previous night in the opening round of the playoffs, and the game against Cambridge didn’t look too good early on, either. The Wildcats committed four errors in the first two innings and trailed 7-1 after three innings. They scored four runs in the top of the fourth to cut the Cambridge lead to 7-5. Cambridge kept scoring, too, and led 12-6 after five innings. The Wildcats kept pace from then on, but it still didn’t look too good going into the top of the ninth inning down 16-10. Kyle Buchanan reached on an error to lead off the inning and Danny Kimlinger followed with a single to right. Both runners moved up on a balk. Jake Sandgren hit a ground ball to deep short. The shortstop hesitated. Buchanan scored, Kimlinger stayed at second and Sandgren beat the late throw to first. The pitcher balked again, and both runners again moved up a base. After Miles Turk struck out, Dylan Magnuson’s sacrifice fly to center scored Kimlinger. Still down 16-12, the Wildcats were just one out away from the end of the season. But they weren’t dead yet. Mitch Berg singled to right to keep the game going. The next three batters – Joe Davis, Ryan Biernath and Hunter Lindstrom – all walked, forcing in two runs to cut the Cambridge lead to 16-14. Batting for the second time in the inning, Buchanan ripped a single to right on an 0-2 pitch and scoring Davis and Biernath to tie the game at 16-16. Lindstrom went all the way to third on the play. Kimlinger stepped to the plate. The first pitch bounced in front of home plate and rolled all the way to the backstop. Lindstrom took off from third and looked like he would score easily.
The catcher raced to pick up the ball and fired it towards the pitcher covering home. Lindstrom slid across home just ahead of the throw and it looked like the Wildcats had a 17-16 lead. The pitcher applied a late, high tag, and the out-of-position home plate umpire vociferously (but incorrectly) called Lindstrom out, leaving the score tied. Cambridge went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, and the game went into extra innings. The Wildcats managed two baserunners in the top of the tenth but didn’t score. In the bottom of the eleventh, the Cambridge leadoff hitter singled. He was sacrificed to second and went to third on a wild pitch. The next batter hit a fly ball to down the line to right field. Right fielder Biernath raced over and made a nice diving catch. He came up firing, but his strong, accurate throw was too late to get the runner and the Wildcats lost 17-16. Mitch Berg pitched the last six innings of the game in relief for the Wildcats.
Despite giving up eight hits, just two of the five runs he allowed were earned. After the first two batters reached base in the seventh inning, Berg shut down eleven of the next twelve batters he faced, and the one who did reach was erased on a double play. Nate Peltier singled to drive in Ryan Biernath with the Wildcats’ first run in the second inning. With one out in the fourth, Quade Zupko, Nate Peltier and Jake Sandgren singled to load the bases. Turk walked to drive in a run. Magnuson drove in two runs with a single. Berg hit a grounder to short. Magnuson was forced at second, but Berg beat the relay throw and Turk scored the fourth run of the inning. Peltier hit a sacrifice fly to score Lindstrom in the fifth. In the sixth, Turk walked and scored on Magnuson’s double to the wall in center field. Biernath’s single down the right field line scored Magnuson and the Wildcats trailed 12-8. Cambridge scored three in the bottom of the inning. The Wildcats answered with two more in the top of the seventh. Zupko walked and Kimlinger singled. Both runners moved up on a balk. Zupko scored on Sandgren’s groundout. One out later, Magnuson’s single to left scored Kimlinger. Cambridge scored one in the bottom of the seventh. Neither team scored in the eight, setting the stage for the Wildcats’ exciting comeback in the ninth.
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