Monday, August 9, 2010

Burnsville’s Jacobson, WIens derail Express in Elko

Elko had its hometown fans riveted early, but Burnsville’s Casey Jacobson slammed the brakes on the Express offense en route to a 7-2 Bobcats win.

“Casey’s had it figured out the whole year,” said Burnsville manager Robby Wiens regarding Jacobson’s effort, “throwing complete games in this league when it’s 100 degrees out, nothing compares to that.”

According to, the official temperature did not hit 100 degrees, but Wiens was virtually correct with his assertion as RealFeel (which is the accredited weather website’s equivalent to heat index) was charted between 98 and 101 degrees throughout the game.

Besides the scorching heat, Jacobson was also dealing with a 31-7 Elko team he was facing for his first time, and the game was on the Express’ home turf.

Jacobson succeeded the test pitching the whole nine innings for the Bobcats, striking out five Express batters and limiting the host team to just two runs.

His complete-game effort was important for the Bobcats as not only does the win (a second round Section 5B playoff win) give them an opportunity to earn a bid to the Class B State Tournament tonight, but Jacobson was also able to conserve his fellow Burnsville arms for tonight and possibly two or three more games this week.

“We don’t want to burn up a lot of pitchers,” said Bobcats skipper Wiens, “we’ve got to play tomorrow and maybe another game or two, so for him to out and there do that, saving our arms, that was big.”

“He did a nice job,” said Elko manager Terry Frederickson in regards to Jacobson. “he kept throwing right at us, and [Burnsville] played good defense, and that’s what it takes [to win].”

The Bobcats played spotless defense while two Elko errors led to three unearned runs for Frederickson’s squad. Two of those three runs were scored on a hit by Frederickson’s counterpart, Wiens, who was key cog offensively for the Bobcats last night.

“We couldn’t get him out,” remarked Frederickson.

Wiens was 3-for-3 with four RBI on the night, including a clutch two-run hit late in game.

The game began with Jacobson allowing back-to-back doubles to Elko’s Jeremy Chlan and Corey Grisim. However, Grisim was thrown out at third base as the Burnsville defense executed two perfect throws from its rightfielder and shortstop.

Down 1-0, the Bobcats offense responded quickly in the bottom of the first (note: Despite the game being played in Elko, Burnsville was the home team due to having a higher playoff seed).

Scott Lindner led off with a walk, Matt Trocke followed with a bloop single near the foul line in right. Two batters later, Roddy Hjort singled to left to load the bases with one out.

The next Bobcats batter, John Loeffler, worked a walk off Elko starter Glenn Parker to tie the game. Wiens followed with a hit to score Trocke and give Burnsville the lead. Then, the back breaker came as Bocats catcher Chad Eul sent a six-hopper up the middle that was able to scoot by Elko’s shortstop and second baseman for a two-run single.

“I think both of them could have had it,” said Frederickson about his infielders - second baseman Kyle Kalina and shortstop Chlan - on Eul’s seeing eye single, “but they both looked at each other like ‘who’s getting that one.’”

Up 4-1, Jacobson battled through the next three innings - allowing three hits, two walks and a hit batter - as Elko picked up a run to get the score within two; however, the Burnsville ace was able to settle in after conquering a key at-bat in the top of the fifth.

With Elko hoping to rally against Jacobson, Express two-hole hitter Grisim led off the inning and had a 3-0 count.

“That was a key count for me, I was thinking ‘you can’t walk the leadoff hitter, they score about 75% of the time, so I’ve got to give my defense a chance to help me out,’” said Jacobson of the at-bat versus Grisim, “ [On] 3-0 I just went down the middle and hoped he wasn’t swinging, then I was able to hit a couple of my spots and got him to pop it up, that was big.”

After Grisim popped to short, Jacobson was able to retire the next two Elko hitters as well for a clean fifth. Finding his groove, Jacobson proceeded to pitch a clean sixth as well.

Then, with Burnsville up 5-2, Wiens came through with a two-out single down the third base line in the seventh scoring Charlie Dubanoski and Hjort to put the game out of reach.

“Luckily [Elko’s third baseman] was playing a bit off the line and I snuck one by him,” said Wiens of his hit.

Jacobson followed with two more shutout innings to seal up the win for the two-seeded Bobcats (12-5 in Cannon Valley League play, 16-7 overall) and set up a big game tonight versus their bitter rivals - the Cannon Valley League regular season champion Savage Outlaws (13-4 CVL, 30-8 overall).

The winner of tonight’s game earns a spot in the Class B State Tournament (which begins August 20 at Willmar and Bird Island).

2008 Class C champion Elko will need to win its next game - tomorrow night versus Eagan - to prevent its season from coming to a sudden halt.

Notable individual efforts:
Burnsville Bobcats
~ Casey Jacobson: 9 IP, CG, W, 2 ERs, 8 Hs, 5 Ks, 3 BBs
~ Robby Wiens: 3-for-3, 4 RBI, Sac Fly
~ Roddy Hjort: 3-for-4, 2B, 2 Rs
~ Chad Eul: 2-for-3, 2 RBI, HBP

Elko Express
~ Jeremy Chlan: 2-for-3, 2B, 3B, R, BB
~ Dan Ellefson: 2-for-4, RBI

**Note: I was the scoreboard operator for this game. I wasn’t able to take many game photos, but I interviewed three people and took pictures of two of the game’s best players (Burnsville’s Casey Jacobson and Robby Wiens) afterward. However, the Wiens shot did not turn out well - I’m working to find a replacement photo as he should be pictured in this article after playing a key role for Burnsville offensively. The photos seen is this article are - from top to bottom - Burnsville's Casey Jacobson, Burnsville's Roddy Hjort facing Elko pitcher Glenn Parker, Burnsville's Hjort and Charlie Dubanoski after scoring on Wiens' 7th-inning single.

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