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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Knights, Indians baseball battle in wild doubleheader

  • It was a wild crosstown doubleheader on May 9 in Sleepy Eye.
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  • It was a wild crosstown doubleheader on May 9 in Sleepy Eye.
     
    In game one, a solo home run from St. Mary’s junior Jon Kopacek netted a 15-14 victory over the Indians after 11 epic innings. The Tomahawk-Conference match-up took over three hours to complete.
     
    Things were looking good for Sleepy Eye Public after it led 2-1 after the first couple of innings. The score remained the same in the third and fourth innings, due to a pitching duel between Alex Sellner of St. Mary’s and Dylan Klein of the Indians. Both pitched well in the first four innings, and it looked as if the game was going to remain quick paced and low scoring.
     
    However, the game was far from over as the excitement began in the fifth and didn’t stop. A solo home run from junior David Surprenant plus an RBI double from junior Brandon Helget gave the Knights two runs in the fifth. After an RBI single was hit from senior John Brandl, St. Mary’s had a 4-2 lead. However, the Indians took advantage of a struggling Sellner and scored three runs of their own to retake the lead at 5-4.
     
    A total of nine runs were scored in the sixth inning alone. Both teams struggled defensively, allowing multiple hits and walks. The Knights had the upper hand however, after scoring six runs compared to Sleepy Eye, who scored three.
     
    In the seventh, St. Mary’s had another successful half inning after scoring four runs, including an RBI double from Brandl to make it 12-8. However, the Indians took advantage of a struggling Surprenant on the mound, who walked multiple runners in a row. Kopacek stepped in as pitcher, and allowed two more runs on walks. It was then sophomore Alex Bruggeman who hit a big double to center field which scored enough to tie the game at 14. However, Bruggeman was tagged out at third, which was followed by a base hit from sophomore Austin Fischer which could have scored in Bruggeman for the winning run. The inning ended when a double play was made from Brandl, who caught a line drive and tapped first base to send the game into extra innings.
     
    After three straight scoreless innings of close opportunities for both teams, Kopacek hit his winning home run in the top of the 11th to seal the deal.
     
    Surprenant led the Knights, going 3-for-5 at bat with four runs scored, one home run and one RBI. Behind him was Brandon Helget, who went 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBI. Meanwhile, Kopacek, Brandl, and Mike Hirsch combined for five runs and had two RBI apiece.
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    Senior Sam Hirschboeck led the Indians, going 4-for-6 at the plate with three runs and two RBI. Bruggeman went 2-for-6 with two doubles and four RBI, while Fischer went 3-for-5 with four RBI.
     
    Game two of the doubleheader was almost a repeat of the first. St. Mary’s got up 6-1 before Sleepy Eye rallied back in the seventh. The Knights started out the first inning with three runs, thanks to some walks and hits thrown from Bruggeman and Marc Riederer on the mound. The Indians scored four runs in the seventh inning and had a chance to tie the game before St. Mary’s defense stepped up big to get the third out and take the second victory 6-5.
     
    Hirsch led on the mound for the Knights, throwing 15 strikeouts, nine walks, five runs on eight hits.
     
    “Mike did a nice job but couldn’t close it out again,” Coach Bruce Woitas said. “We need to close the game a bit stronger.”
     
    Meanwhile, Helget went 2-for-3 at bat with one run and one RBI to lead at bat.
     
    Sleepy Eye had three more hits in the game but had five errors in the loss. Hirschboeck was perfect at bat, going 4-for-4 with one run, while Sam Tessmer went 2-for-2 with one run and one RBI.

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