Mangos down Dover-Eyota in extra-inning thriller
MEDFORD – It wasn’t pretty, but at the end of the day, the Medford Legion baseball team was able to get the job done.
In the bottom of the eighth with runners on first and second, Medford’s Ben Sutcliffe provided the extra-inning fireworks.
Hitting a soft roller back to the pitcher, Sutcliffe appeared to just give his team one more out to score the game-winning run. That is until an overthrow at first base allowed Javis VonRuden to from second base to give the Mangos a 3-2 win over the Eagles Monday night at Medford Public School.
“It was a grinder,” commented Medford skipper Derek Sorenson. “From start to finish, we jumped on them early, but there was no quit in Dover-Eyota.”
Medford managed to take an early 1-0 in the bottom of the first after VonRuden’s RBI double scored Ian Gillis. However, he would be stranded on second to end the inning. The theme that would stick with the Mangos all night was stranding runners on base. Prior the fireworks in the bottom of the eighth, four baserunners were left on base. Of those four, three were in scoring position with a pair just 90 feet from home.
“He (Dover-Eyota pitcher Issac Bushman) was a crafty pitcher,” Sorenson said. “He was really tricky. He hid the ball well, changed his speeds up and he quick pitched us a couple of times. We just told the guys get the ball in play and good things will happen.”
Not to be outdone, Medford’s Nate Meixner had a strong outing on the mound as well. In his first three innings of work, he allowed just one hit while recording three strikeouts. In fact, the second inning proved to be his longest outing of the three as he faced four batters.
However, in the fourth inning, Meixner started to get into a bit of trouble. A wild pitch would allow Dan Williams to tie the game at 1-1. Just three batters later, Jack Studer’s RBI single would score Bushman to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead. Despite having runners in scoring position, Meixner was able to get out of the inning thanks to a successful pick-off attempt by Javis VonRuden back to first base.
After the slight hiccup, Meixner appeared to be back in his groove, allowing just one hit in his final two innings of work. In six innings, he gave up two runs (one earned), allowed five hits and struck out four. He credited most of the success to his catcher.
“It was a great game called by Javis behind the plate,” he added. “He mixed up a lot of fastballs and changeups to keep them off balance.”
The sixth inning left the Mangos scratching their heads.
VonRuden and Nick Meixner were both called out in close plays at first base after it appeared that Dover-Eyota’s first baseman pulled his foot from the bag late. If that wasn’t enough, Nate Meixner was thrown out at third after appearing to successfully dive back to the bag.
Both teams would have short stints at the plate in the seventh inning to set up the extra inning finale.
Medford will be back in action Wednesday evening.
DE 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
MED 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 5 0
WP: Nick Meixner - 2IP, 0R, 2H
Pitching: Nate Meixner - 6IP, 5H, 2R (1ER), 4K
Batting: Gillis 0-3, W.VonRuden 0-4, J.VonRuden 2-4 (RBI), Nick Meixner 0-3, Ben Sutcliffe 1-4, Nate Miexner 1-3, Cole Volkmann 1-3, Alex Gengler 0-2, Jon O'Daffer 0-3.