Thursday, September 2, 2010

Engberg, Outlaws power surge spark Savage victory

Anders Engberg pitched seven strong innings and a pair of Peterson brothers homered to lead Savage in an impressive eight-run romp over the Mankato Twins on Saturday.

Savage’s six-foot right-hander, Engberg, spent most of his summer primarily pitching in relief for the Duluth Huskies (of the Northwoods League), but he was able to return to the Outlaws in time for a key start.

“He’s always pitched well for us and were very excited to have him back,” said Outlaws manager Travis Peterson regarding Engberg, who’s pitch count was closely monitored Saturday. “He threw 74 [pitches] through seven innings, so he was efficient and pitched really well too.”

Engberg seized control from the get-go, allowing just two Mankato batters to reach base through the first six innings. One of the base runners reached on an error by Savage centerfielder Dylan Peterson, but Peterson more than atoned for the mistake in the fourth inning.

Ex-Gustavus Adolphus standout Tony Konicek led off at the plate for Mankato. Engberg was able to get ahead in the count 1-2, but Konicek connected on the next pitch and drilled the ball deep to right-centerfield. However, Peterson had a beat on it the whole way and tracked it down for a fence-crashing, extra-base-robbing catch.

“That catch was kind of a game changer,” said Dylan’s brother, and manager, Travis Peterson, of his younger brother’s catch, “it got us fired up a bit and then we brought our offense.”

Engberg retired the next two batters to finish the fourth inning in a scoreless tie. Then, the Savage bats caught fire in the top of the fifth.

With one out, Tyler Peterson singled to left and Tayler Rahm followed with a double to center. The next Outlaws batter struck out, but Dylan’s older brother Tony Peterson followed with a clutch, two-out hit off Mankato starter Kevin Regan. Tony bombed a Regan fastball to left initiating the Star Wars theme music on the stadium’s loudspeakers as he rounded the bases and gave his Outlaws a 3-0 lead.

Two innings later, Dylan followed Tony’s shot with a homer of his own.

In the seventh, again with two outs, Savage’s Zach Harazin hit a single to left center. The next batter, Dylan, the youngest of four Peterson brothers on the Savage roster, followed by hammering a deep blast to left for a 5-0 Outlaws lead.

“Trav gave me the hit-and-run [sign],” said Dylan, speaking of his manager brother, Travis, “so I was just trying to put good wood on it, then it ended up going out.”

Mankato finally reached Engberg in the bottom of the seventh, as Konicek was able to clear the fence for a solo homer to cut his team’s deficit to 5-1.

However, Savage padded its lead with four runs in the top of the eighth and Outlaws reliever Brandon Walzcak worked two scoreless innings to cap off the win.

Notable individual efforts:
Savage Outlaws
~ Anders Engberg: W, 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hs, 6 Ks, 0 BBs
~ Dylan Peterson: 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, R
~ Tony Peterson: 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 Rs
~ Zach Harazin: 3-for-4, RBI, R

Mankato Twins
~ Tony Konicek: 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI

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