VS. NEW PRAGUE
With most fans huddling under umbrella’s to celebrate Senior Day, the Orono Spartans did not let rain nor league leading New Prague end its winning streak in a strong win against the Trojan’s at Timpe Field in Maple Plain. Senior Mark Sarles schooled his younger teammates on how to hit, going three-for-three at the plate.
New Prague jumped out to a first inning 1-0 lead with two hits before McCrae recorded the first out at second followed by textbook double play from short stop Tichy to second baseman McCrae to Mrachek at first.
With the rain continuing to fall, both teams bats appeared to go quiet until the Spartans busted the game open in the bottom of the fourth by a Tichy double to left followed by a another hit to left by Zamek,tying the game at one a piece. After Brekken walked, Sarles crushed another double this time to right scoring Zamek. Nick Hartmann nearly had a bunt single but helped the team go up 3-1 on a rbi scoring Brekken.
New Prague tightened the game 4-2 at the top of six, but Orono added more insurance runs at the bottom the same inning on a Brekken single, Sarles single, a Hartmann single, and a Deters single scoring two.
Senior Cody Tomb got the win for Orono. He went five and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out two. Luke Erickson threw one and one-third innings in relief out of the bullpen. Erickson recorded the last four outs to earn the save for the team and proving once again that the Elite Greeks are superior warriors to the Ragged Romans.
A road trip to Mankato brought nothing but salty tears for Orono losing to 11-1 to Mankato West, thus ending a four game win streak after a flat offensive performance sullied further with five fielding errors.
Teddy Deters took the loss for the Spartans. He lasted one and one-third innings, allowing five hits and six runs while striking out one. After Carter Olek relieved Deters, Quincy Littlejohn-Docken ended the game with two strike-outs.
Alexander Dittbenner started the game for Mankato West. He surrendered zero runs on one hit over one inning, striking out one.
Avenging his time on the mound, Deters went two-for-three as the only multi-hit Spartan for the day.
Orono finished conference play 5-5, the same record as last year, by beating the Tigers 4-0 in Delano last Thursday.
Evan Zamek pitched a complete scoreless game shutting down Delano on only three hits and seven strike outs. Zamek’s best performance of the season was supported by six hits from the offense.
Orono scored first in the first inning after a single by Deters, a single by Mrachek, a Zamek walk, which led to a deep sac fly by Brekken scoring one. Unfortunately a too-cute-by half steal attempt at home by Mrachek ended the inning.
The Spartans furthered their lead in the top of five after three errors in a row by the Tigers resulting in Deters and Mrachek scoring.
At the top of six, Orono added an insurance run on a double by Anderson followed by a line drive single by Olek to left field.
“We finished the season strong and where we want to be. I believe our best baseball is still in front of us,” Coach Bucky Mieras said. “Aaron Brekken had an amzaing game and gave the team some quality at bats taht he and the team needed. Shea Anderson put a great game together as well. Defensively Carter Olek had his best game and it is fun to see up make the routine play for outs. Evan Zamec threw a three hitter which was great for us and him...This was a complete for us as we hit the ball throughout the lineup, threw strikes and made the routine plays. It was a fun night at Delano.”
Conference playoffs begin Tuesday, May 28 against at Dassel-Cokato at Timpe Field in Maple Plain.
“Sections begin this week and we are number three seed. Honestly, any of the top 6 teams can win this tournament. It is that good of competition and the team playing the best right now will win it. We host on Tuesday vs. Dassel-Cokato and then will play again on Thursday vs. either Benilde-St. Margaret’s or Mound-Westonka. Fun days ahead of us. We will throw Cody Tomb on Tuesday and I am super excited for him. He has had a great season and should be the guy for us on Tuesday. He has earned the Tuesday start. The rest of our staff should be ready to go and we know anyone needed will be ready when called on,” Mieras said.