Spring Grove remained atop the four-team logjam in the Southeast Conference baseball race with a pair of critical SEC wins – one by a comfortable margin and the other a nailbiter. With make-up games packing the schedule, there were three games in three days, first the lone loss in a closely-contested, non-conference May 9 clash versus Martin County West at a neutral site in Austin. MCW High School is located in Sherburn, Minn.
The Lions could not protect a seemingly comfortable lead in that 8-7 loss to MCW, but they maintained their early advantage during a 10-2 road win that completed a season sweep of Houston. Then, a stolen base helped Spring Grove slip past visiting Mabel-Canton, 3-2, the Lions’ second one-run, pitchers’ duel escape against the Cougars.
For the sixth time in the last seven Lion games, the team with the most base hits – lost the game. The SG win at Houston was the lone exception during that amazing string of results.
Spring Grove improved to 8-3 overall and 8-2 in the highly-competitive conference race that includes co-leader Lyle/Pacelli (8-2 SEC) along with Southland (8-3 SEC) and Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons (7-3 SEC).
The Lion B-team did not play Martin County West before defeating Houston, 13-9, and falling to Mabel-Canton, 5-2.
Martin County West 8, SG 7
The Lions had just scored three runs to enjoy their greatest lead at 6-2 with two innings remaining when the Mavericks exploded for five runs to take a 7-6 lead in the sixth inning. In the bottom of the inning, Spring Grove tied it up at 7-7 with clutch back-to-back, two-out hits from Caleb Griffin and Brandon Jahnke. So, it all came down to the final seventh inning, which began with a triple from MCW outfielder Wyatt Williams. With the bases loaded (hit batter and bunt single), Williams came home on a sacrifice fly. The game ended with the Lions going down in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Spring Grove out-hit MCW, 12 to 10, but the Mavericks crowded six of those hits into their big five-run inning. Elijah Solum and Caleb Griffin each batted 3 for 4 with an RBI, and each stole three bases. Jonah Udstuen (2 RBI) and Jahnke (1 RBI) each went 2 for 4 at the plate. Nathan Solberg (1 for 3) had the Lions’ only extra-base hit, an RBI double. Jaxon Strinmoen (1 for 2) stole four bases, one of six different Lions who contributed to 14 stolen bases.
Spring Grove led 3-2 before a three-run rally made it 6-2 after five innings. But that cushion would not be enough. Both teams entered with six wins; MCW left town at 7-4, while SG slipped to 6-3.
SG 10, Houston 2
Winning pitcher Caleb Griffin completed the first five innings with no runs, no hits, 10 strikeouts and only one walk while the Lions were building a 7-0 lead. After Griffin left the mound, the Hurricanes avoided a shutout, managing two runs on two hits.
Meanwhile, Spring Grove batters benefited from 13 walks while scoring 10 runs on seven hits, including doubles from Solum (2 for 4) and Strinmoen. That attack also featured Jahnke batting 2 for 3 while driving in three runs.
Spring Grove has now won all 11 games against Houston since the Lions reinstated baseball as a stand-alone program in 2016
SG 3, Mabel-Canton 2
With two outs and the scored tied at 1-1, Strinmoen stole third base while the catcher was throwing the ball back to the pitcher. Caleb Griffin, who had walked, was then able to steal second base, setting the stage for Jahnke’s 2-RBI single that drove in both the go-ahead and eventual winning runs for Spring Grove.
That 3-1 lead in the third inning would hold through three innings until the unexpected drama in the final seventh inning. The Lions were a pitch or two away from a win when an error kept the Cougars alive. Then eighth grader Isaac Underbakke and freshman Tyler Larson followed with back-to-back singles to make the score 3-2. A stolen base put the potential tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. But the game ended with a pop-up to first base.
There was only one walk issued in this pitchers’ duel. Jahnke pitched all seven innings for the Lions, striking out five and walking none. For the Cougars, Cayden Tollefsrud went the distance (six innings), striking out seven and walking only one. But that one walked batter (Caleb Griffin) ended up scoring what would turn out to be the winning run.
The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, featuring three successive base hits from Hayden Erickson, Fred Williams and Owen Underbakke – all with no outs. The threat abruptly ended when a squeeze bunt resulted in a double play. Then the Lions promptly tied the score with back-to-back hits from Logan Brumm and Jonah Udstuen.
Mabel-Canton out-hit SG, 7 to 6, but stranded nine runners on base. In the field, the Cougars had only one error, while the Lions had five miscues. Each team had one extra-base hit, doubles from Solberg and the Cougars’ Erickson. Strinmoen batted 2 for 3 while Cayden Tollefsrud went 2 for 4 for the visitors.
It was the Lions’ 12th win in the last 13 games against Mabel-Canton, but both this season were nail-biting one-run decisions.
MCW 8, SG 7
MCW 002 005 1 = 8 10 2
SG 120 031 0 = 7 12 2
LOB: SG 8, MCW 5
Stolen bases: SG 14, MCW 2
SG 12 hits (double, 11 singles): Elijah Solum 3 for 4, RBI, run, 3 steals; Caleb Griffin 3 for 4, RBI, 2 runs, 3 steals; Brandon Jahnke 2 for 4, RBI; Jonah Udstuen 2 for 4, 2 RBI, run, 2 steals; Nathan Solberg 1 for 3, double, RBI, run; Jaxon Strinmoen 1 for 2, run, 4 steals; Matthew Doering run, steal; Braedon Solie steal
MCW 10 hits: (triple, double, 10 singles)
Pitching SG: Ty Cleven 3 Innings, 2 hits, 2 runs, 0 earned runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts; Jonah Udstuen 2 1/3 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts; Brandon Jahnke (loss) 1 2/3 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts
MCW Pitching: 7 runs, 6 earned runs, 3 walks, 10 strikeouts
Records: SG 6-3, MCW 7-4
SG starting LINEUP: p Ty Cleven, c Ezra Griffin, 1b Jaxon Strinmoen, 2b Jonah Udstuen, ss Nathan Solberg, 3b Brandon Jahnke, lf Zach Brumm, cf Elijah Solum, ref Caleb Griffin, runners Matthew Doering & Braedon Solie
SG 10, Houston 2
SG 202 120 3 = 10 7 4
Hou 000 001 1 = 2 2 4
LOB: SG 8, Hou 10
Stolen bases: SG 7, Hou 4
SG 7 hits (2 doubles, 5 singles) Brandon Jahnke 2 for 3, 3 RBI; Elijah Solum 2 for 4, run; Ezra Griffin 1 for 4, 2 RBI; Jaxon Strinmoen 1 for 4, double, run, steal; Zach Brumm 1 for 3, 2 RBI; Caleb Griffin 3 walks, 3 steals; Jonah Udstuen steal; Nathan Solberg RBI; Braedon Solie steal; Matthew Doering run
Hou 2 hits: Olson 1 for 3, run; Rodriguez 1 for 3
Pitching SG: Caleb Griffin (win) 5.0 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts; Strinmoen 2/3 inning, 1 hit ,1 run, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 1 strikeout; Ben Udstuen 1 1/3 innings, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts
Pitching Hou: 7 innings, 7 hits, 10 runs, 8 earned runs, 13 walks, 2 strikeouts (Loss: Melbo)
SG LINEUP: p Caleb Griffin, c Ezra Griffin, 1b Jaxon Strinmoen, 2b Jonah Udstuen, ss Nathan Solberg, 3b Brandon Jahnke, lf Zach Brumm, cf Elijah Solum, dh Logan Brumm
M-C 010 000 1 = 2 7 1
SG 012 000 x = 3 6 5
LOB: SG 3, M-C 9
Stolen bases: SG 4, M-C 2
SG 6 hits (double, 5 singles): Jaxon Strinmoen 2 for 3, run, 2 steals; Nathan Solberg 1 for 2, double; Brandon Jahnke 1 for 3, 2 RBI; Jonah Udstuen 1 for 2, RBI, steal; Logan Brumm 1 for 3, run
M-C 7 hits (double, 6 singles): Cayden Tollefsrud 2 for 4; Hayden Erickson 1 for 4, double, run: Owen Underbakke 1 for 3, RBI; Fred Williams 1 for 2; Tyler Larson 1 for 4, RBI; Isaac Underbakke 1 for 4
Pitching SG: Brandon Jahnke (win) 7 innings, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 earned run, 0 walks, 2 hit batters, 5 strikeouts
Pitching M-C: Cayden Tollefsrud (loss) 6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts
SG LINEUP: p Brandon Jahnke, c Ezra Griffin, 1b Jaxon Strinmoen, 2b Ben Udstuen, ss Nathan Solberg, 3b Caleb Griffin, lf Tysen Grinde, cf Jonah Udstuen, dh Logan Brumm
Spring Grove 8-2 SEC, 8-3 season
Lyle/Pacelli 8-2 SEC, 8-4 season
Southland 7-2 SEC, 8-3 season
AC/GE 7-3 SEC, 8-5 season
GMLOK 4-6 SEC, 4-8 season
Houston 3-7 SEC, 3-11 season
Mabel-Canton 3-8 SEC, 4-10 season
Schaeffer Aca. 0-10 SEC, 0-13 season
Spring Grove Varsity Baseball 2022
8 wins, 3 losses (8-2 SEC)
(4:30 p.m. first pitch unless noted) * SEC game
W vs. GMLOK* 5-1
W vs. Lyle/Pacelli*7-6
04-18 Cotter/Hope Lutheran, postponed
W vs. Houston* 12-2 (6 inn.)
Mon. 04-25 Wabasha-Kellogg 5 p.m. postponed
W at Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons* 21-10
L at Southland* 3-4
W at Mabel-Canton* 3-2
W at GMLOK*16-8
L at Lyle/Pacelli*4-5
L vs. Martin County West 7-8
W at Houston* 10-2
W vs. Mabel-Canton* 3-2
Fri. 05-13 Southland*
Sat. 05-14 at Rushford-Peterson Tourney, 10 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
Sat. 05-14 at Rushford-Peterson Tourney, approx. 3 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
Tues. 05-17 at Schaeffer Academy (Rochester)*double header
Thur. 05-19 Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons*
Fri. 05-20 at Fillmore Central/Lanesboro (at Preston)
Spring Grove B-Team Baseball 2022
3 wins, 9 losses
L vs. GMLOK 2-5
L vs. Lyle/Pacelli 2-12
L vs. Houston 2-5
L at Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons 0-2
L at Southland 0-5
W at Mabel-Canton 5-2
L at GMLOK 0-10
L at Lyle/Pacelli 1-8
W at GMLOK 7-6
L vs. GMLOK 4-6
W at Houston 13-9
L vs. Mabel-Canton 2-5
Junior high First Game
4 wins, 6 losses
L vs. Mabel-Canton 8-13
W vs. GMLOK 10-0
W vs. Houston 5-3
W vs. GMLOK 9-2
W vs. Lyle/Pacelli 9-3
L vs. Caledonia 2-7
L vs. Southland 0-16
L vs. Houston 1-7
L vs. Mabel-Canton 6-8 ‘
L to Southland 0-15
Junior high Second Game
1 win, 7 losses, 1 tie
W vs. Mabel-Canton 6-1
T vs. GMLOK 9-9
L vs. Houston 1-11
L vs. GMLOK 1-2
L vs. Lyle/Pacelli 5-9
L vs. Caledonia
L vs. Southland 3-17
L vs. Houston 3-16
L vs. Southland 0-12