Two to the Tigers
LINCOLN-The Alcona baseball team had its work cut out for it on Monday in a North Star League doubleheader against Posen.
But at the end of the night, the Tigers were able to walk away with two wins. Alcona beat Posen 6-1 in the first game and held off a rally by the Vikings in the nightcap to win 12-10.
Alcona led 12-8 after five innings, but the Vikings didn’t go away quietly in their final turn at the plate. Taking advantage of several errors, Posen scored twice and had the tying runs on second and third with one out.
The Tigers were able to end the threat with a strikeout and a fly ball out to end the game, even with the go-ahead run at the plate.
“Sometimes you have a little lull and you’ve got to get that out of the kids. Just because you win the first one doesn’t mean you’ll win the second one,” Alcona coach Terry Franklin said. “We still scored some runs and did some nice things. It’s coming along.”
Alcona (7-4-1, 6-0 NSL) trailed three different times in the second game before coming back to tie the game 8-8 in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run triple by Tim Hutchinson.
The Tigers took the lead for good in the fourth inning as Posen (7-7, 5-3 NSL) struggled to get outs and had trouble making some routine defensive plays. Two runs scored on bases-loaded walks and another run came on an RBI single from Coda Gallagher.
“We’re not making the plays I think we should be making. We need to start seeing some more effort and laying it out on the line,” Posen coach Pat Kowalski said. “The team came back and showed a lot of character by scoring 10 runs. Usually that’s enough to win a ball game.”
Posen left a runner on in the fifth inning, but made the most of some opportunities in the sixth inning before Alcona closed the game out.
The Vikings scored twice in the first inning and tacked on five more runs in the second inning as Jared Sharpe, Nathan Mulka and Avery Werth all had RBI hits.
Alcona answered with four runs in the first inning and two more in the second to trail 8-6 after two innings. Nate Swinson had two RBI hits for Alcona in those two innings and drove in three runs.
Hutchinson had a hit and three RBI for Alcona and Stephenson and Jacob McFadden each had two hits.
Mulka, Werth and Travis Sharpe each had two hits for Posen.
Behind a strong performance from Gallagher on the mound, Alcona took the opener a little easier. Gallagher pitching four no-hit innings and allowed just two hits. Posen was held scoreless until the sixth inning when Skyler Tuglestke scored.
Gallagher also struck out nine and walked three.
Travis Sharpe matched Gallagher with a solid performance of his own, allowing six runs on four hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts. But when Alcona did hit Sharpe, it hit him big.
In the fifth inning, Brock Franklin hit a two-run home run to center field to give Alcona a 6-0 lead. In the second inning, Mitchell Krisan had an RBI double and two other times during the game, Alcona scored on RBI groundouts.
“The first game we played really well. I was excited for the kids and I felt good about the ball game. Posen’s no slouch,” Franklin said. “They’re well-coached and they hit the ball and with Travis pitching, I was glad to score a couple runs on him.”
Posen’s first hit came in the fifth inning on a single by Matthew Delekta and Mulka had a single in the sixth inning for Posen’s other hit.
“Game One we didn’t hit the ball well. Skyler hit the ball well three times, but it was right at players,” Kowalski said. “If we don’t have base runners, we can’t do any of our plays.”
Swinson had two hits for Alcona and Franklin finished with three RBIs.
James Andersen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.