Mudcats go 1-1 on opening day of Gopher Classic
Bouncing back from a rough start, the Marshall Mudcats went 1-1 Friday in Eden Prairie on the opening day of the Jim Hanus Gopher Classic, the largest Legion baseball tournament in the country.
Marshall started the 90-team tournament by surrendering seven runs in the first inning of a 17-9 loss to Lino Lakes in five innings, but recovered to defeat Sioux Falls East (S.D.) 9-6 to end the day.
Drew Hmielewski got the start for the Mudcats in the opener and struggled with his control. He walked six batters during Lino Lakes' seven-run first inning and was replaced by Leo Zerr after recording just two outs.
Lino Lakes was up 14-1 before Marshall struck for six runs in the top of the fourth, but the Mudcats didn't have enough to claw back from the massive deficit.
Bryce Johnson and Matt Campion each had a double for Marshall in the loss. Derek Buysse scored two runs, and Nolan Schaeffer was 1-for-2 with an RBI sacrifice fly.
Marshall got off to a better start in the second game with Carl Douglas on the mound. He scattered 12 hits and didn't allow Sioux Falls East to score more than a run in any of the first six innings. Douglas worked 6 1/3 innings before being replaced by Conner Messman, who recorded the final two outs.
The Mudcats' offense got itself going early, scoring six runs in the bottom of the second to take control of the game. After Sioux Falls East scored a run in the fifth and another in the sixth to cut the lead to two, Marshall scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to help fend off a comeback bid.
Johnson had another double and scored two runs for Marshall, which finished with 10 hits. Hmielewski was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Campion was 2-for-4 with a double and a run, and Colton Peterson had a pair of hits and scored a run.
Marshall continues Gopher Classic action bright and early today with a 9 a.m. game against Huron (S.D.). The Mudcats then face Moline (Ill.) at 5 p.m. Marshall closes out the tournament Sunday with a 5 p.m. game against Eden Prairie.
Marshall100 62-9 8 4
Lino Lakes743 12-17 11 3
M-Drew Hmielewski, Leo Zerr (1). LP-Hmielewski. 2B: M-Bryce Johnson, Matt Campion.
SF East101 011 2-6 12 0
Marshall060 003 X-9 10 1
M-Carl Douglas, Conner Messman (7). WP-Douglas. 2B: M-Bryce Johnson, Matt Campion.
Tracy 8, Olivia 5
The Tracy VFW baseball team closed out the regular season by defeating Olivia 8-5 Friday in Bird Island to finish.
A three-run fifth inning by Tracy allowed the team to fend off a three-run rally by Olivia in the bottom of the seventh to hold on for the win.
Ben Johnson was 2-for-3 with a double for Tracy, while Austin Gleis was 2-for-3. Moses Dolan added two RBIs.
Derek Larson pitched the first 6 1/3 innings for Tracy before Gleis came on to record the final two outs. The pair surrendered a combined six hits to Olivia.
Tracy finishes the regular season with a 6-5 record.
Tracy121 130 0-8 5 1
Olivia101 000 3-5 6 3
T-Derek Larson, Austin Gleis last (7). WP-Larson. 2B: Ben Johnson.