The temperature heated up Saturday afternoon at The Ath, and so did the bats as Red Wing stormed out to a 13-7 nonconference win over South St. Paul.
Although the Wingers ended the game with a six-run lead, there was little separation between the teams though the first five-and-a-half innings of play. After the first batter struck out to start the game, South St. Paul opened things up with a single, walk, hit batter, wild pitch and error providing the Packers with a three-run first inning.
Despite the rocky start to the game, Red Wing didn’t get down on itself and responded with four runs of its own in the bottom of the first. Reese Tripp started things off with a one-out single and then a crucial two-out rally put the Wingers out in front. Evan Petersmeyer hit a single that scored Tripp, Cooper Chandler walked, and Jorgen Ulvenes hit a single to load the bases for Reid Hartmann. Hartmann was up to the challenge and lined a three-run double to left-center.
Red Wing’s lead wouldn’t stand however, as South St. Paul added two more runs in the top of the second to take a 5-4 lead. Not to be outdone, the Wingers matched the two-run effort with a pair of runs themselves in the bottom of the second. Deso Buck was hit by a pitch and then Tripp smashed a line drive over the right fielder’s head to score Buck as Tripp scrambled to third for an RBI triple. In the next at bat, Drew Ball smacked a ball deep in left-center for a double and Tripp scored to give Red Wing a 6-5 lead through two innings.
After 11 combined runs in the first two innings, neither team scored in the third but both were back at it in the fourth inning with one run each. Again neither team scored in the fifth inning but the Packers did scratch across a run in the sixth to tie the game 6-6.
That was when the game broke wide open.
With little separation between the teams through five-and-a-half innings, Red Wing finally broke through for a massive seven-run sixth inning to put the game well out of reach. Eight of the nine Red Wing batters in the lineup either scored a run or drove in a run in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Spotted a six-run lead and only three outs to win the game, Buck closed out the seventh inning putting away three of four batters that stepped up to the plate.
Pitching stats: Chandler started the game on the mound for Red Wing and was charged with one earned run on two hits. He struck out four and walked two batters. Tripp earned the win after pitching two innings. He walked one and gave up two hits. Buck earned the save after pitching the final three innings. He struck out and walked one batter, while being charged with one earned run on three hits.
Batting stats: Buck (2 R, 1 BB), Tripp (4 R, 2 H, 2 SB, 1 RBI, 1 3B, 1 BB), Ball (3 H, 2 RBI, 2 2B, 1 R), Petersmeyer (2 RBI, 1 H, 1 R), Chandler (2 R, 1 BB), Ulvenes (2 H, 2 R), Hartmann (4 RBI, 2 H, 2 2B, 1 R, 1 BB), Aiden Borgen (1 H, 1 BB), Tyler Rodgers (1 RBI)
Red Wing, 4-4, is next scheduled to travel to Winona on Tuesday.