There was plenty of drama in the first round Tomahawk East League playoffs matchup between Stark and Sleepy Eye
There was plenty of drama in the first round Tomahawk East League playoffs matchup between Stark and Sleepy Eye. After the teams split the first two games, it set up a winner takes all game on Tuesday night and it didn’t disappoint.
Stark won game one at Sleepy Eye 8-5 and Sleepy Eye bounced back in game two with a 20-1 win in seven innings to force a game three.
Game three featured the aces of both teams dueling it out. It was also a rematch of the game one matchup, but this time Sean Mathiowetz was the one who came out on top.
The Indians took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third after Alex Sellner led off the inning with a walk. Matt Berkner took advantage of the walk with a double to score Sellner from first and the Tribe took a 1-0 lead.
Stark came right back in the top of the fourth when Jon Kopacek doubled to right-center to score Adam Sellner to tie it all up at one.
The score remained tied at one until the bottom of the 10th inning as both pitchers matched each other inning for inning.
Stark had scoring chances down the stretch though.
Craig Fischer singled to shallow left field in the top of the seventh and Mitch Neid was sent around third to score only to be gunned down at the plate by a great throw by Alex Sellner to keep the game tied. Dylan Klein and Matt Mielke each had key defensive plays as well in the game.
“It’s huge. You take away Sellner and Klein, and it’s a 3-1 game,” Mathiowetz said. “Those are the type of plays you got to make to win baseball games. I know it’s just amateur, but it’s fun to play and it’s fun to be out here.”
In the top of the ninth, Adam Sellner led off the inning with a double, but was picked off at second by Mathiowetz to erase the threat and set up the heroics for Andrew Woitas in the bottom of the 10th.
Alex Sellner reached on an error to start the bottom of the 10th for the Tribe and moved up to second.
The Longhorns decided to intentionally walk Sean Mathiowetz and Joey Walter to load the bases and set up a force out at any base with one out.
Adam Sellner got Alan Woitas to ground out to him and the Longhorns got Alex Sellner at the plate for the second out, which brought Andrew Woitas up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs.
Andrew was 0-for-4 against Adam Sellner in this game, and 0-for-9 in the series against him, but it only takes one time.
“I was just looking for something I could drive the other way,” Andrew Woitas said about the at-bat. “I’ve been rolling over a lot, so my approach was to go the other way and got a fastball ahead in the count and put a good swing on it.”
Woitas took that fastball he got for a base hit between the shortstop and third baseman to score Mathiowetz for the walk-off win and win the series 2-1.
“For sure a team win,” Andrew Woitas said. “You look at Sellner’s play was huge. You can go back to Klein’s play in the first inning, (Joey) Walter running down a ball in center, and then you really got to tip your hat to Sean Mathiowetz on the bump. He was pretty damn good.”
The Indians advance to region play with the win. They will begin region play on August 8. Schedule of the region play was not available at the time this article was written.