A lengthy list of errors by Watertown and reaching double-digit hits wasn’t enough for Red Wing as the Aces fell in the first round of the state amateur baseball tournament, 5-2.
The Aces had no trouble getting on base throughout the game, going only one inning without a baserunner. The problem was getting those runners home as Red Wing hit into two inning-ending double plays and left 11 runners stranded on base — seven of them in scoring position.
Watertown was hot out of the gates, loading the bases in the first inning with no outs and one run already on the board. Red Wing managed to get out of the jam by getting an infield pop up and then doubling up Ben Theisen after a flyout to right field. However, it took Aces’ starting pitcher Brady Schroeder 29 pitches to escape the first inning and it set the tone for the game — that everything would be a struggle for the Aces.
It wasn’t until the fifth inning that Red Wing would score its first run. With runners at first and third, Watertown committed its fourth error of the game allowing Grant Rolen to score, trimming Red Wing’s deficit to 2-1.
With a little momentum behind the run and Schroeder settling in on the mound, it appeared Red Wing was on the rise. Watertown quelled that thought by matching with another run in the next half-inning to push their lead to 3-1.
The final nail in the coffin for Red Wing came in the eighth inning with a series of what-could-have-beens. With one out, Corey Tauer drew a walk and Bear Blaney came in to pinch run. In the next at bat, Dixon Irwin hit a single but not before Blaney was picked off at first. With two outs, the next two batters — Brodie Smith and Schroeder — hit singles. The latter hit scored Taite Shelstad who came in to pinch run for Irwin. Schroeder then stole second base to put two runners in scoring position with Rolen up to bat. Unable to put his bat on the ball, Rolen struck out, stranding the go-ahead run on second.
In the next half-inning, Watertown put two more runs on the board and seemingly put the game out of reach. The Aces didn’t go away quietly as they managed to get two runners on base after two quick outs to start the ninth inning. Tauer came up to bat, representing the tying run but struck out to end the game.
Schroeder pitched five innings and allowed two runs. He gave up five hits, issued six walks and struck out three. Teddy Tauer came on in relief for the remaining four innings. He gave up three runs and struck out two.
At the plate, Schroeder, Kyle Blahnik and Adam Thygesen recorded two hits apiece. Corey Tauer earned the lone walk.
Watertown did nearly all of its damage with the top of its lineup. Patrick Tschida, Brenden Donohue and Ryan Hangartner went a combined 6-for-13 with four RBI, three runs scored and two walks. The rest of the lineup went a combined 1-for-15.
Red Wing finishes the season with a 15-10 record.