By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
For a state championship game, the Aug. 28 match-up between the Kimball Express and the Alexandria Black Sox was pretty uneventful. The Express scored a run in the third inning and maintained that lead into the middle of the ninth inning. The Black Sox had only one scoreless hit on the game going into the ninth inning. Then the game took a turn, even as another thunderstorm approached.
A rally in the ninth inning by the Black Sox tied the score at 1-1. Travis Krueger hit a single as the bottom of the ninth inning began. The next batter struck out. Blake Stockert was hit by a pitch and took first base; Krueger advanced to second. Eric Carlsen hit a single, advancing Stockert and Krueger with bases loaded. Jordan Joseph took the mound for the Express at this point. The next batter struck out. With bases loaded and 2 outs, Brett Savelkoul hit a single, scoring Krueger and tying the score at the end of the ninth inning.
The 10th inning came and went with no hits for the Express and only a single for the Black Sox.
The 11th inning started with Matt Dingmann striking out, but the third strike is dropped; Dingmann was thrown out by the catcher to first base. Up next, Brooks Marquardt reaches first on a throwing error by shortstop Chris Curry. Austin Ruehle is up next; Marquardt advances to second on a wild pitch but is tagged out at second. Ruehle hits a single. Tommy Friesen flies out to left field for the third out.
Bottom of the 11th, still tied 1-1, Blake Stockert is hit by a pitch and goes to first base. Eric Carlsen lays down a sacrifice bunt to Express third baseman Michael Hoffmann who throws to first baseman Adam Beyer; Stockert advances to second. Carter Stockert is hit by a pitch and goes to first. Zach Dingmann goes in as replacement pitcher for the Express. Four balls and Brett Savelkoul walks; Blake and Carter advance to third and second, respectively. Chris Curry is hit by a pitch and goes to first; Blake Stockert scores to end the game, 2-1. Curry was seleted Player of the Game for his hit-batter walk-off that won the game. An exciting end to what seemed like a fairly certain win for the Express for most of the game.
“The Express finished the season with a very respectable 24-13 overall record in the Central Valley League North,” says team manager Tom Marquardt. “The team continues to grow with a great mix of veteran players along with some good young talent and is already looking forward to the 2022 season.”
Marquardt continued: “Thanks go out to our fans who supported us throughout the regular season and post-season play. Also, thanks to the local businesses for continuing their support for baseball in our community. Thanks to the Kimball Legion Club for providing ice on game days. And, as always, thanks to the Tri-County News for keeping you up-to-date with the results of each and every one of the Kimball Express games. See you at the park in 2022!”
Brooks Marquardt scored on a single by Jordan Joseph in the top of the third inning. That would be the only run for the Express in the game. Brooks Marquardt hit a double and 2 singles to lead the Express at bat. Austin Ruehle hit a pair of singles; and Ben Johnson and Scott Marquardt each hit a single.
Jordan Joseph is tagged with the loss for the Express, pitching two innings. Ben Johnson pitched the first 8 1/3 innings, and Zach Dingmann pitched in relief in the 11th inning.
Dylan Haskamp earned the win; he pitched the final 5 innings for the Black Sox. Blake Stockert pitched the first 6 innings.
The Alexandria Black Sox will face Maple Lake at 1:30 Saturday, Sept. 4, in Chaska as they move forward in the state tournament.
KIMBALL AB R H BI
Austin Ruehle 4 0 2 0
Tommy Friesen 4 0 0 0
Jordan Joseph 4 0 1 1
Ben Johnson 3 0 1 0
Zak Wallner 1 0 0 0
Scott Marquardt 4 0 1 0
Adam Beyer 5 0 0 0
Cade Marquardt 3 0 0 0
Ashton Hanan 1 0 0 0
Matt Dingmann 4 0 0 0
Brooks Marquardt 5 1 3 0
TOTALS 38 1 8 1
ALEXANDRIA AB R H BI
TOTALS 33 2 5 2
R H E
Express 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
Black Sox 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 5 1