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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Stark, Essig struggle in regionals

  • Both the Stark Longhorns and the Essig Bluejays are now 0-3 in the Region 2C Amateur Baseball Tournament.
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  • Both the Stark Longhorns and the Essig Bluejays are now 0-3 in the Region 2C Amateur Baseball Tournament.
     
    On August 2, Essig traveled to New Ulm to take on the Brewers for game one of the tournament. After three scoreless innings, the Bluejays were first to score. Erich Prokosch led off with a double to right center field, and Terry Helget followed with a walk. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, and Kyle Krzmarzick then delivered a sacrifice fly to score Prokosch. It was then EJ Berden who executed a suicide squeeze bunt on the next pitch to score in Helget. Unfortunately for Essig, the runs were the only ones the team would record on the night.
     
    In the sixth, the Brewers loaded the bases and Drew Pfaff hit a two-run single to tie the game. The tie was broken in the bottom of the 10th, when New Ulm advanced two runners on a hit batter and a single. After allowing an intentional walk to load the bases, another walk thrown by Jory Dove scored the winning run.
     
    Eric Hauser led the Bluejays at bat after going 2-for-3. On the mound, Eric Scheibel went six innings, recording two runs, five hits, no strikeouts and four walks in the 3-2 loss.
     
    The next day, Essig hosted Hanska. The Bluejays once again drew first blood, this time in the bottom of the first with a single run. A walk from Kyle Helget, singles from Dusty Fleck and Prokosch, and a RBI single from Mitch Stueber recorded the run.
     
    Stueber recorded another RBI single in the third that scored Prokosch. However, Hanska tied the game in the fourth on a double, a sacrifice fly, and a RBI single. In the sixth, the Lakers took the lead after a walk and a RBI single scored another.
     
    Essig responded in the seventh after T. Helget laced a single followed by another RBI single from Stueber to tie the game up again. However, a single plus a two-run home run was hit which ended the game with Hanska winning 5-3.
     
    Losing pitcher went to Springfield draftee Jason Nachreiner, who went all nine innings and allowed 10 hits and two walks and recorded two strikeouts.
     
    Meanwhile, Stark fell on August 2 to Hanska, losing 3-2, and fell to Lamberton 6-1 a day later. On August 5, the Longhorns took on New Ulm on the road.
     
    It was a game full of missed opportunities for the Longhorns, who badly needed a win to stay alive in the tournament. An opportunity presented itself right away in the first after Dusty Mangen walked and Brandon Helget recorded a single. Joey Wahl followed with a sacrifice, but Stark wasn’t able to bring Mangen home.
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    Meanwhile, the Brewers loaded the bases in their first inning on two walks and a hit, but the Longhorns got the outs needed to keep the game scoreless.
     
    However, it was a rough second inning for Stark as New Ulm had runners on second and third due to a walk and two bunts. A two-RBI single scored the runners in. The struggles continued when a failed throw to first base on another bunt and a wild pitch scored two more and the Brewers had a 4-0 lead.
     
    In the sixth, a walk from Mangen and B. Helget was followed by a RBI single from Wahl to give the Longhorns their first run. Adam Sellner had his own single which loaded the bases with no outs. However, Stark left all three runners on as New Ulm changed pitchers to a Leavenworth draftee who the Longhorns couldn’t hit past.
     
    In the eighth, Wahl and Sellner got on base only for Wahl to be thrown out at second. A double from Jake Mangen gave Stark more chances, but a pop fly from Nathan Kral and a strikeout from Jon Kopacek ended the opportunity and Brewers went on to win 4-1.
     
    Lamberton, New Ulm, and Hanska will advance to State.

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