RED WING — Aggressive baserunning has been a key component to the Aces’ offense this season. That trend continued Sunday in Red Wing’s home opener against the Minneapolis River Rats as the Aces swiped five bases on five attempts. Three of those base stealers would eventually come around to score, accounting for more than half of the Aces’ runs in its 5-3 win.
Red Wing jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Mitch Matter scored on a Brodie Smith hit that led to a Minneapolis error.
On the mound, Teddy Tauer struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced before loading the bases in the third inning. The River Rats took advantage with a two-run single, retaking the lead 2-1.
Matter led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single and proceeded to steal second base. Corey Tauer then brough Matter home with a game-tying RBI single.
Minneapolis reclaimed the lead by playing some small ball in the seventh inning. They loaded the bases with a single and two walks and then scored on a fielder’s choice.
The Aces then took its base-running philosophy to the brink in the eighth inning by stealing three bases. Jack Carlson and Bear Blaney both swiped a bag after coming in to pinch run. Carlson scored on a Dixon Irwin single to tie the game, then Blaney scored on a Josh Thygesen double to give the Aces the lead, 4-3. For good measure, Zach Harding hit a sac fly to left field and Grant Rolen tagged up and scored to give Red Wing a two-run lead heading into the top of the ninth.
“We’re going to put the pressure on them and make plays on the basepaths,” Aces manager Justin Plein said. “With our 22 guys, people can find their roles like that. Jack Carlson, Bear Blaney coming in to run — we have a lot of options coming off the bench.”
Aaron Johnson took the mound in the ninth and earned the save after striking out all three batters he faced.
Leading the Red Wing offense was Thygesen, going 2-for-3 with a stolen base and one RBI. Matter also had two base hits and two stolen bases.
On the mound, Teddy Tauer pitched five innings. He gave up two earned runs, struck out nine, walked two and allowed four hits. Ben Kuehni was the winning pitcher after logging three innings. He had one earned run, struck out five, walked two and allowed one hit.
As a group, Red Wing struck out 17 batters and allowed five hits.
Another win in Wisconsin
Red Wing traveled to Hayward, Wis., on Friday and came away with a 10-8 victory. After digging an early 8-3 deficit through two innings, the Aces scored four in the sixth inning to take the lead. Corey Tauer, Smith and Harding all had three hits — Tauer with two RBI and Smith with two runs and three RBI.
Marcus Walm earned the win on the mound, going 5 ⅓ innings and striking out six. He walked one and gave up one hit.
The Aces have their schedule set for the remainder of the summer. They will play 11 more games with two games apiece against Class C opponents Lake City, Cannon Falls and Hastings.
The July 4 tradition of playing Miesville is still on as the Mudhens will travel to The Ath for a 2 p.m. start. The remaining four games will be against non-Classic Cannon Valley League opponents.
With only six league games on the schedule, it is yet to be determined how seeding could work for a potential playoff later this summer.
- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 1 vs. Lake City
- 2 p.m. Saturday, July 4 vs. Miesville
- 2 p.m. Sunday, July 5 vs. Tempe
- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 8 vs. Lake City
- 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 10 at Hastings
- 2 p.m. Sunday, July 12 at Cannon Falls
- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 15 vs. St. Louis Park
- 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 17 vs. Burnsville
- 2 p.m. Sunday, July 19 vs. Hudson
- 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 vs. South St. Paul
- 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 24 vs. Cannon Falls
- 2 p.m. Sunday, July 26 vs. Hastings