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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Sleepy Eye Public baseball starts 1-2

  • The Sleepy Eye Public baseball team lost its first two games of the season but recently won its third.
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  • The Sleepy Eye Public baseball team lost its first two games of the season but recently won its third.
     
    On April 8, the Indians had their first game of the year where they lost 0-3 against Springfield. The game turned into a pitching dual between sophomore Dylan Klein and Springfield’s Dylan Wersal. Klein pitched five innings and threw two strikeouts, but allowed five hits and three runs which was enough for the Tigers to win the game. Meanwhile, the Indians struggled behind the plate, as Wersal kept Sleepy Eye off balance.
     
    “A few mistakes on our behalf gave the Tigers more opportunities and they took advantage,” Indians Coach Aaron Nesvold said. “We did not hit the ball very well and left five runners in scoring position.”
     
    Top hitter for Sleepy Eye was senior Brandon Polesky, who went 2-for-4 at bat.
     
    On April 10, the Indians hosted GFW. The Thunderbirds, who return seven seniors this year, got to work right away in the first inning. Multiple hits, including a triple, allowed them to score three runs in the first to grab the early lead. Meanwhile, hits from sophomore Kolten Nienhaus and senior Sam Hirschboeck gave the Indians an opportunity to score in the second, only to come up short.
     
    A three-run home run from GFW doomed Sleepy Eye in the third inning. The Thunderbirds weren’t done there, as they took further advantage of the poor pitching from Sleepy Eye and scored three more runs to grab a 9-0 lead.
     
    Despite the score, the Indians were given some hope in the next inning as junior Matt Berkner hit a homer of his own to put Sleepy Eye on the board. Two innings later, Berkner struck again after hitting an RBI double which put another run on the board. In the seventh, Klein hit an RBI double to score two more for the Indians.
     
    On April 15, Sleepy Eye hosted Minnesota Valley Lutheran. It was a cold day for baseball but that didn’t seem to phase the Indians, who got to a great start after scoring three runs in the first. Hirschboeck and Berkner swung well at the plate to put Sleepy Eye ahead early.
     
    An RBI triple in the third inning allowed the Chargers to be put on the board, which must have given them some momentum as they scored two more in the fourth which tied the score 4-4. They would have scored one more in the fourth, as a Charger ran across home off of a hit, but forgot to touch the plate and the umpire didn’t count the run.
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    After both teams scored one more in the next couple of innings, MVL took its first lead of the night in the seventh off of a couple of big hits. However, the Indians stepped up big in the final half inning after a single by Hirschboeck and a sacrifice bunt by Austin Fischer gave Sleepy Eye an opportunity to tie it at six. That opportunity came shortly afterward, after sophomore Alex Bruggeman hit a double which sent Hirschboeck home. Finally, a crucial single by senior Marc Riederer scored in Bruggeman to take the game and avoid extra innings.
     
    “It felt pretty good,” said Riederer on the game-winning hit in the seventh. “I was 0-for-2, I grounded out the last two at-bats so I was due for a hit.”
     
    Nesvold said he was pleased with the way his players stuck with it.
     
    “I was happy with the way we hit the ball,” Nesvold said. “Hitting the ball like that being able to come back after giving up two runs in the seventh is big.”
     
    Senior Brandon Polesky went 2-for-3 and had one double, while Berkner went 2-for-4, hitting two singles.
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