Sunday, May 15
|Belle Plaine||7 PM|
--by Brett Kruschke
If the Belle Plaine Tigers had to experience both ends of a blowout, certainly they would have chosen the way it turned out. El Tigre got pummeled in a non-league duel at Dassel, 17-2 in six innings, before turning the tables on Gaylord a few days later with a 12-3 win in the RVL opener.
Factoring in the season-opening roller-coaster victory against St. Benedict, the Tigers are 2-1 overall with a 1-0 record in River Valley League play.
The local nine will play a pair of league games at home this weekend, starting with the reborn Henderson Tigers at 7 pm on Friday. RTL Construction is sponsoring the game promotion, which is a free hot dog, chips, and pop for all fans – courtesy of RTL!
On Sunday, the BP Boppers will host the Arlington A’s at 2 pm on Dollar Dog Day. That means $1 hot dogs throughout the game, while supplies last.
Between games, be sure to log heavy time at bptigertown.com – and at the Tigers social media channels: BP Tigertown on Facebook and Twitter.
BP 2 @ Dassel-Cokato 17 (Friday, May 13 – 6 innings)
Because of the early-season nature of thinner-than-usual rosters, it was agreed that this exhibition contest at the Masters-like quality turf of Saints Field in Dassel would be shortened to seven innings. However, the hosts insisted that the Tigers’ stay would be even shorter.
Belle Plaine started like a house afire, as Tyler O’Brien’s leadoff double turned into the game’s first run when Carsen Ladd singled him home. After a walk to Jake Mercado, cleanup hitter Jared Miller plated Ladd for a 2-0 advantage.
Little did our roving reporter realize that would be the end of our scoring updates.
O’Brien started on the mound and hung a goose egg in the first inning but the Dassel-Cokato Saints soon started a conga line, plating eight runs in the second inning, two more in the fifth and five in the fourth for a discombobulating 15-2 lead. Two more DC runs in the fifth was the end of the uprising, and after three more outs, the end of the contest.
It was Super Hero Night in Dassel, but on this evening, at least, there were many more dressed as Saints than Tigers.
BP 12 @ Gaylord 3 (Sunday, May 15)
A glance at the lineup card against Gaylord showed that the Tigers were better armed for this contest than in either of their first two games. And, it showed as the Big Grrr put forth their best effort of the season on both sides of the ball.
Derek Hoffman took the hill for Belle Plaine, but not before his mates once again struck for two runs in the top of the first. For those of you paying attention, that’s 13 runs in the first inning for the Tigers this season in just three games.
Hoffman was impressive, working four frames of scoreless ball with six strikeouts. He handed off the rawhide to Colton Kerkow, who last pitched on Opening Night. Kerkow also kept runs off the board, chucking two scoreless innings to earn the win.
The first-inning runs stood up as the game’s only scoring before Team Tigertown broke things open in the sixth with a seven-spot on seven hits.
Gaylord got on the board at last against Jake Mercado, who picked up the save by working the final three frames. He allowed three runs (two earned) and punched out three Islanders.
Hitting heroes for La Tigra was Mercado, who swatted a pair of home runs among his four hits, driving in three runs while earning “Gremlin of the Game” honors. Carsen Ladd also filled up the box score, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and five RBI. The Tigers finished with 15 hits in all.
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