Rebels top K/W baseball team in subsection semifinals
ADAMS — The Rebels found their swinging stroke while also displaying a good amount of patience in an 11-1 five-inning win over No. 5 seeded Kenyon/Wanamingo in the Subsection 1A West Division baseball semifinals in Adams Thursday.
Southland (18-4 overall) had nine hits and drew seven walks in the win and it will now play No. 2 Randolph (18-4 overall) for the subsection title Saturday at Hudson Field in Rochester at 10 a.m.
“Today was the most I’ve seen us play team baseball,” Southland head coach Scott Retterath said. “We had our three and four guys taking walks and that’s just good team baseball. Everybody wants to hit, but on-base percentage is huge.”
Chris May got the top-seeded Rebels started with a two-out solo home run to the opposite field in the first inning and he drew three walks in his next three at-bats.
“We started off slow yesterday and we knew we had to get runs early today. We did a good job of that,” May said.
May, a senior, had no problem laying off pitches after belting the early homer.
“I’m getting on base, so that’s all that matters. I’m happy with that,” he said.
The Rebels put the game away in the fourth inning when they put up five runs. Mitch Nagele knocked in two runs with a single and Clint Bergene had a run-scoring single.
Nagele, who had four RBIs and picked up the win on the mound, ended the game in odd fashion in the bottom of the fifth.
With the bases loaded and one out, he took a half swing that pushed the ball about three feet. Thinking it was foul, he stepped out of the batter’s box and Alan May sprinted home to score the game-ending run in the middle of the confusion.
“It was coming right at me and I decided I wanted to hit it for some reason. Somehow it worked,” Nagele said. “We hit the ball (in an 8-2 win against) Goodhue (Wednesday), but it went right to them. Today we were just hitting the gaps and everybody did a good job.”
Retterath is pleased to have his team back into the double-elimination tournament after surviving the single elimination round.
“That single elimination is scary,” he said. “One loss and you’re done and we had a fairly successful season. It always makes you nervous when you go into that situation, but the kids responded well.”
Southland will likely throw Chris May and Alan May on Saturday, but they’re not sure which order they’ll take the mound.
“I think we’re set up the way we want to be. Anybody who watches baseball, they pretty much know what they’re going to get on Saturday,” Retterath said.
If Southland beats Randolph on Saturday, it will play at 5:30 p.m. and if it loses to Randolph, which beat Hayfield 10-0 Thursday, it will play at 3 p.m.
The qualifying teams from the East Subdivision are No. 1 Wabasha/Kellogg (18-3 overall) and No. 2 Rushford/Peterson (13-6 overall).
K/W 0 0 0 1 0 — 1 2 2
Southland 1 1 3 5 1 — 11 9 1
Southland pitching: Mitch Nagele (W), 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6 K
Southland hitting: Alan May, 1-for-3, 2 R, BB; Adam Kiefer, 1-for-3, RBI, R; Chris May, 1-for-1, HR, RBI, 3 R, 3 BBs; Connor Mielke, 1-for-2, 2 RBIs, 2 BBs, R; Mitch Nagele, 2-for-4, 4 RBIs, R; Clint Bergene, 1-for-3, RBI, R, SB; Mitch Heimer, 1-for-3; Trevor Emanuel, 1-for-3, RBI; Grant Hegge, 0-for-2, R, BB; Mike Goergen, 2 SB