Comeback stops Morris
Posted May 25, 2018
By Byron Higgin
Mascot Sports Editor
The sigh of relief crossed Tyson Sonnenburg’s lips and a look of satisfaction settled in.
After 11 grueling innings, it was Sonnenburg’s single to score Jake Leighton that gave the Minneota Mudhens a satisfying, 6-5 come-back win over the Eagles.
“It felt good to get the team win. I was in that position with other players getting on base and Durfee’s home run put us in that position — and Zach Nuy’s pitching also put us in that position. Sometimes you come through and sometimes you don’t,” said Sonnenburg.
Just a week earlier after a 5-4 loss to the Milroy Yankees, Sonnenburg was taking blame for what he felt was his own poor performance.
But Friday he walked three times and got three hits, including the game winner against a tough Morris team.
The Mudhens wouldn’t even have been in that position if it hadn’t been for a three-run blast over the Legion Field left field wall in Marshall to tie the game at 5-5 in the eighth inning.
“Durfee is a heck of a player. We expect a lot from him. He came through for us. He’s a big asset for this team,” said Sonnenburg.
He added, “I just wanted a base hit from him and all of a sudden he puts one out.”
Morris strung together four hits and used an error to help score five runs in the third inning for a 5-1 lead. They appeared to be coasting until Beau Buysse knocked in the second Mudhen run and Durfee delivered his game-changing home run.
Yet, the Mudhens wouldn’t have been in a position to win if reliever Zach Nuy hadn’t turned in four innings of two-hit, four-strikeout ball that gave the Hens a chance to win.
“Zach pitched a great game. He’s put a lot of work in and you can tell when he comes in and throws,” said Sonnenburg.
Nuy relieved Danny Hennen, who had six strikeouts in seven innings of pitching.
They are a good team — top of the league each year, and they’ll be on the top this year again, too. So to get one from them was huge,” the manager added.
Minneota’s defense was solid and Buysse turned in a couple of defensive gems when he went deep into the hole from his second base position and threw out the Eagle runners — one at second and the other at first.
“It seemed like they got to everything we hit,” said Buysse, who was robbed of a base hit to right field in the ninth inning. “I just thought I’d pay them back,” he chuckled.
On Sunday the Mudhens picked up another win, 3-1 over Rosen.
Two Minneota hurlers turned in a two-hit performance, striking out nine Express batters.
Starter Jake Leighton picked up his second win of the year, allowing two hits while striking out five.
Reliever Tommy Fischer fanned the side in the ninth to pick up the save in his first performance of the season.
Fischer, who is pitching for Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, had to return to his college team after the win over Rosen.
“We made the playoffs for the first time in a long time,” smiled Fischer, who will be counted on in the Mudhen rotation this summer.
“We’ve got great pitching. I know our hitting will come around,” Manager Sonnenburg said.
A three-run rally in the fourth was spearheaded by Austin Buysse’s second hit of the game, a double. Unfortunately, he slid into home for the third run on a single by Preston Nuy and injured his knee. It’s an injury that could keep the third baseman out of action for a couple of weeks.
Last Wednesday’s game with Granite Falls was not played because the Mudhens lights were not operating. They were to play at Marshall on Wednesday and will play Hancock at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home.
Minneota 6, Morris 5 (11 inn)
MINNEOTA (AB-R-H-RBI) Beau Buysse, 2b, 5-1-1-1; Jake Leighton, lf 6-2-4-0; Adam Durfee, ss 5-1-1-3; Tyson Sonnenburg, cf 3-0-3-1; Austin Buysse, 3b 4-0-2-0; Danny Hennen, p-1b, 4-0-0-0; Jordan Beck, 1b-rf 5-1-0-0; Jesse Drager, c 5-0-1-0; Brock Buysse, rf 2-0-1-0; Al Christianson, ph 1-0-0-0; Zach Nuy, p 1-0-0-0. Totals 44-6-11-5.
MORRIS (AB-R-H-RBI) Bryce Jergenson, p-cf 5-0-2-0; Tanner Picht, cf 5-1-1-0; Mac Beyer, rf-p 5-1-2-0; Brady Jergensen, rf 5-0-1-0; Kirby Marquart, c 4-1-1-1; Jamie VanKempen, ss 2-1-0-0; Mitch Carbert, 1b 2-1-1-2; Matt Carrington, 3b 4-0-1-2; Chase Metzer, 2b 4-0-2-0. Totals 36-5-8-5.
Score by Innings
Morris 005 000 000 00 — 5 8 2
Minneota 100 000 40 001 — 6 11 1
E-Minneota: Sonnenburg; Morris: Marquart, Carrington. LOB-Minneota 9; Morris 4. SB-Minneota: Leighton; Morris: B. Jergenson. SAC-Minneota: Austin Buysse, Brock Buysse; Morris: Carbert 2. DP-Minneota 6-3 (10). 2B-Minneota: Leighton. HR-Minneota-Durfee.
Pitching IP R ER H BB K
Danny Hennen 7 5 2 6 1 6
Zach Nuy (W) 4 0 0 2 2 4
B. Jergenson 9 5 2 8 2 5
Beyer (L) 1.1 1 1 3 1 1
HP-Durfee (by Beyer).
Mudhens 3, Rosen 1
MINNEOTA (AB-R-H-RBI) Beau Buysse, 2b 3-0-0-0; Jake Leighton, p-lf 4-0-1-0; Adam Durfee, ss 3-1-1-0; Tyson Sonnenburg 4-1-1-0; Austin Buysse, 3b 2-1-2-2; Brock Buysse, rf 1-0-0-0; Bryce Gorder, ph 1-0-0-0; Danny Hennen, 1b 3-0-0-0; Preston Nuy, rf-3b, 3-0-1-0; Jesse Drager, c 3-0-0-0; Jordan Beck, lf-rf, 3-0-0-0; Tommy Fischer, p 0-0-0-0.Totals 30-3-6-2.
ROSEN (AB-R-H-RBI) Kyle Sachs, cf 4-0-0-0; Evan Kraft, 2b 2-0-1-0; Derek Rademacher, 3b 4-0-0-0; Nate Nelson, 1b 4-0-0-0; Damien Pillatzke, p 3-0-0-0; Isaac Adelman, ph 1-0-0-0; Zack Cramer, rf 3-1-1-0; Tyler Adelman, lf 2-0-0-0; Jacob Maatz 1-0-0-0; Ethan Streich, c 3-0-0-1; Mike Shake, ss-p 3-0-0-0. Totals 30-1-2-1.
Score by Innings:
Rosen 010 000 000 — 1 2 1
Minneota 000 300 00x — 3 6 0
E-Rosen: Nelson. LOB-Minneota 6; Rosen 6. SB-Minneota: Beau Buysse; Leighton; Durfee 2; Sonnenburg. DP-Rosen 4-3 (2). 2B-A. Buysse. 3B-Rosen: Cramer.
Pitching IP R ER H BB K
Leighton (W) 7 1 1 2 2 5
Fischer (W) 2 0 0 0 1 4
Pillatzke (L) 5 3 3 6 0 1
Shake 2 0 0 0 1 2
Streich 1 0 0 0 0 1
HP-Durfee (by Pillatzke); Tyler Adelman (by Leighton), WP-Fischer; Pillatzke 3; Shake.