It was a gut-wrenching baseball loss for Spring Grove, which never trailed until the final play. Southland used three unearned runs in the final half inning to rally past the Lions, 5-4, on April 18 at Adams. Spring Grove, after only one previous error, committed back-to-back errors to spark the last-inning Rebel rally. The Lions still led 4-2, and needed only one out to secure a win when Jack Bruggeman, the only player with more than one hit, sent a two-RBI single into centerfield to tie the score. Then the game ended when Jonas Wiste scored from third base on a wild pitch.
It was a major matchup between the two teams most likely to challenge defending champion Lyle/Pacelli for the Southeast Conference crown. Southland improved to 3-0 (3-0 SEC) while Spring Grove dropped back to 2-1 (2-1 SEC).
There were 25 total strikeouts, but the game was decided by how well the teams took advantage of walks and hit batters. Lion pitchers Caleb Griffin (12 strikeouts, 2 walks) and Brandon Jahnke (2 strikeouts, 1 walk) combined to strikeout 14, while Rebel hurlers Riley Jax and Tyson Stevens combined to fan 11 batters. The Lion duo issued only three walks, but two of those Rebel batters scored. Jax and Stevens were more charitable with 11 free passes (eight walks and three hit batters). But only two of those 11 Lions came around to score. Spring Grove left 11 runners on base, at least one in each inning. Southland stranded seven.
The Lions survived a first-inning error, but they could not survive their other two miscues – in the final inning. Southland had no errors.
Spring Grove led almost all game. The second Spring Grove batter, Caleb Griffin, was hit by a pitch and scored on an Ezra Griffin double. In the next inning, Ben Udstuen and Zach Brumm both singled and aided by three walks, came around to score. The Lions led 3-0 after two innings and would lead 4-0 in the sixth.
Southland, shut out through the first five innings, struck suddenly in the sixth. After Jax led off with a walk, Wiste homered over the left field fence to cut the Lion lead in half with one swing. Caleb Griffin recovered with his 12th strikeout but had to retire after reaching the pitch limit. Then, sandwiched between two ground-outs, Isaac Felten’s double created some drama, but it was still 4-2 going into the final inning.
With a hit batter, a walk and two stolen bases, the Lions threatened but could not add to their lead in the top of the seventh. That set the stage for the shocking finale. Jahnke, in relief, struck out two batters, but the two errors and a walk kept the Rebels alive just long enough.
Spring Grove had five hits, including the double, each by a different batter: Jahnke, Udstuen, Caleb Griffin, Ezra Griffin and Zach Brumm. Southland had six hits with the home run and a pair of two-baggers; neither of the two doubles resulted in a score.
It was the Lions’ fifth straight loss versus Southland. The abbreviated B-team game ended in a scoreless tie.
Originally scheduled at Spring Grove, this game was moved to Adams due to field conditions after recent snow in Spring Grove. The return game on May 12 will now be played in Spring Grove.
SG 4, Southland 5
SG 120–001–0 = 4 5 3
Sou 000–002–3 = 5. 6. 0
LOB: SG 11, Sou 7
Stolen bases: SG 6, Sou 1
SG 5 hits (double, 4 singles): Ezra Griffin 1-4, dbl, RBI; Caleb Griffin 1-1, RBI, R, sb; Brandon Jahnke 1-2, sb; Zach Brumm 1-3, 2R, sb; Ben Udstuen 1-4, R;
Sou 6 hits (HR, 2 doubles, 3 singles):
Pitching SG: LP Brandon Jahnke (1-1)
Caleb Griffin 5.1 IP, 4H, 2R, 2 ER, 2W, 12K
Brandon Jahnke 1.1 IP, 2H, 3R, 0 ER, 1W, 2K
Pitching Sou: WP Tyson Stevens
Riley Jax 4 IP, 4H, 3R, 3 ER, 3W, 8K, 2 HB
Tyson Stevens 3 IP, 1H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5W, 3K, 1 HB
Records: SG 2-1 (2-1 SEC); Sou 3-0 (3-0 SEC)
SG LINEUP: p Caleb Griffin, c Ezra Griffin, 1b Jaxon Strinmoen, 2b Ben Udstuen, ss Nathan Solberg, 3b Brandon Jahnke, lf Zach Brumm, cf Elijah Solum, rf Gabe Klug, cr Bryce Berns & Logan Brumm, pr Jacob Solum
Spring Grove Baseball 2023 (SEC games in bold)
>>2-1 (2-1 SEC)
W at GMLOK 15-4
W vs. Houston 10-2
Mon. 4-17 Wabasha-Kellogg, postponed
L at Southland 4-5
Fri. 4- 21 (at Austin) Blooming Prairie
Mon. 4-24 Rushford-Peterson
Tues. 4-25 Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger
Fri. 4-28 GMLOK
Sat. 4-29 (at Minneapolis) Martin County West
Mon. 5-01 at Lyle/Pacelli (Austin)
Tues. 5-02 Mabel-Canton
Thur. 5-04 at Mabel-Canton
Fri. 5-05 Lyle/Pacelli
Tues. 5-09 at Houston
Fri. 5-12 Southland
Sat. 5-13 at Rushford Invitational
10 a.m. vs. Hayfield
noon vs. Goodhue
Fri. 5-19 Fillmore Central/Lanesboro
Mon. 5-22 at Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger
>>0 wins, 2 losses, 2 ties
L at Caledonia 4-14
T at GMLOK 3-3
L vs. Houston 3-6
T at Southland 0-0
>>1 win, 5 losses
L vs. Mabel-Canton
L vs. Mabel-Canton
L vs. GMLOK
W vs. GMLOK
L vs. Houston
L vs. Houston