Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jacobson, Bobcats bats lead Burnsville by Winsted

The Winsted Wildcats swept through their Section 8 playoffs and had ace pitcher Tony Kley on the mound versus the Burnsville Bobcats for its first ever Class B State Tournament game Sunday at Bird Island's Lions Memorial Park.

Furthermore, the Wildcats batters were able to touch up Burnsville ace Casey Jacobson for a six-hit, four-run inning. However, Jacobson regained his poise, and a mix of Wildcats erorrs and Bobcats hits led Burnsville to an 11-5 victory.

Jacobson, Burnsville’s 20-year-old ace, survived a four-run fourth inning to allow just three hits and one earned run the rest of the way in earning the complete-game win.

“He was tough on the mound, there’s no question about that,” said Winsted manager Aaron Shultz regarding Jacobson, “he’s a tough pitcher, but we did have five runs and 10 hits, ultimately it was our defense that let us down.”

Schultz’ ace, Kley - who entered the game with an 11-0 record and 0.79 ERA - faced 29 Burnsville batters in 5 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits and six runs, but only one run was earned as the Winsted defense commited five errors on the night.

The game began with Burnsville’s Scott Lindner blistering a Kley offering to right for a lead-off single. Kley temporarily escaped any trouble with a strikeout / throwout double play as he was able to get the next Bobcats batter, Matt Trocke, swinging and his catcher, Matt Wroge, pegged out Lindner at second.

But just as Kley seemingly completed the inning as Burnsville’s Charlie Dubanoski hit a grounder to short, Winsted shortstop Josh Anthony’s throw went awry and Dubanoski reached safely.

The Bobcats took advantage of the Wildcats gaffe as Roddy Hjort pulled a single to left and Jeremy Chlan ripped a two-run triple to right center. Chlan - who Burnsville drafted from the Elko Express for the tournament - came around to score as Anthony made another errant throw, this time on ground ball by Burnsville’s Robby Wiens.

Burnsville added another unearned run in the third inning before the Winsted offense was able to bat its whole lineup against Jacobson in the fourth.

Matt Wroge led off the the inning with a fly out to right but Winsted’s next batter - pitcher Joe Kley - was able to directly harm his counterpart by obliterating a Jacobson pitch an approximate 350 feet over the fence in left for a solo home run.

The Kley homer ignited the Wildcats offense as five of Winsted’s next six batters hit singles off Jacobson to score three more runs. Nine-hitter Curtis Herboshimer completed Winsted’s rally by extending his bat on a low, outside pitch to lift a single to right to drive in the game-tying run.

In the fifth inning, two Bobcats errors set up another scoring opportunity for Winsted. A single by Greg Kohler nearly tied the game but Bobcats leftfielder Lindner threw a pea to catcher Chlan to easily nail Kohler at the plate.

There were now two outs but the Wildcats were able to give their highly-visible fan base something to cheer about as the team’s next batter, Cullen Schultz, delivered a RBI-single to right to give Winsted its first lead of the game.

Winsted's lead was short-lived, however, as Burnsville responded with three hits and two runs in the top of the sixth inning.

The Bobcats picked up yet another unearned run in the seventh inning, but the game remained tight entering the game’s final frame.

Burnsville began the ninth inning up two runs but hoped to tack on some insurance runs. Winsted reliever Josh Anthony started the inning by retiring the Bobcats’ four- and five-hitters - Hjort and Chlan - on a grounder to second and a flyout.

The following Burnsville batter, Wiens, was able to work full-count walk off Anthony and that opened the door for four Bobcats runs. Chad Eul crushed a ball off the fence in right to drive in one run, but the big death blow came from nine-hitter David Keeney.

With two runners on, Keeney smacked a first-pitch offering from Anthony over the fence in left for a three-run homer.

“We knew it was their nine-hitter and threw him a get-me-over, first-pitch strike,” said Winsted skipper Schultz, “but lineups are too good one-through-nine at this level.”

“I could hear their coach saying ‘nine-hitter’ and that riled me up a little bit,” said Keeney of the at-bat, “[but] anytime [a pitcher] throws it right down the middle on the first pitch, I’m just trying to hit it as hard as I can.”

Keeney’s blast slammed the door on any chance Winsted had of a comeback as Burnsville’s lead increased to six.

Jacobson allowed a lead-off walk in the bottom of the ninth inning, but he retired the next three Winsted batters to finish off the Burnsville win. Following the game, Bobcats manager / centerfielder Wiens was very proud of his young hurler.

“Nothing new from him,” said Wiens of Jacobson, “he just goes out there and throws strikes. He had one bad inning but that’s like one bad inning over [his last] five starts.”

Wiens, Jacobson and the rest of the Bobcats advance to the second round of the State Tournament when the team will square off with the Sauk Rapids Cyclones this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Willmar.

Notable individual efforts:
Burnsville Bobcats
~ Casey Jacobson: CG, W, 9 IP, 10 Hs, 5 Rs (2 ERs), 6 Ks, 2 BBs
~ Scott Lindner: 4-for-6, RBI, R
~ Jeremy Chlan: 2-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 RBI, 2 Rs, SB
~ David Keeney: 1-for-3, HR, 2 BBs, 3 RBI, R

Winsted Wildcats
~ Cullen Schultz: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, R
~ Joe Kley: 1-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 Rs
~ Curtis Herboshimer: 2-for-3, RBI

**Note: I was a reporter for this game, witnessing most of the game from the end of the Burnsville dugout. Photos of this game were difficult as the game began at 8:00 p.m. and, though the game was played under lights, the darkness does not bode well with my camera's limited abilities. The pictures used in this article are mostly pre-game and are displayed from top-to-bottom as follows - Pitcher Casey Jacobson warming up with catcher Jeremy Chlan, Winsted pitcher Joe Kley on the mound, a young fan showing her Winsted spirit, Burnsville players - Roddy Hjort, Charlie Dubanoski, Chad Eul and Matt Trocke - during pregame introductions.

No comments: