Rebel Yell: Southland outlasts Lyle-Pacelli in 10-inning showdown

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, May 16, 2024

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ADAMS – In a game that was dominated by great pitching and defense, it was a little extra hustle that made the difference.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Southland’s Austin Swenson hit a high chopper and beat out a walk-off infield single to give the Rebel baseball team a 2-1 win over Lyle-Pacelli in Adams Thursday.

“We were just staying positive the whole game. In my last at bat, I was just trying to put the ball in play and I knew good things would happen,” Swenson said. “I went into sprint mode. I knew I had to get on.”

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While neither was the pitcher of record, the matchup was dominated by the game’s starters as Southland’s Riley Jax struck out 14 while allowing just two baserunners. Unfortunately for Jax, one of those base runners was Hunter VaDeer, who blasted a solo home run to left field on an 0-2 pitch to tie the game at 1-1 with one out in the top of the seventh.

On the mound, VaDeer struck out 15, while allowing just two hits. One of those hits was an RBI single by Travis Kirtz in the third inning that put Southland (16-1 overall) up 1-0.

Jax, a senior who has committed to Riverland Community College, said that Thursday’s win was as sweet as they come.

“You really can’t win a baseball game without the guys around you. We didn’t really make any errors and that’s why we won,” Jax said. “This one feels the best (out of all of my games), because we beat them. Hunter is a competitor. He likes to win and I like to win and I try to be like Hunter sometimes.”

Southland head coach Scott Koenigs said it doesn’t get much better than watching VaDeer and Jax duel it out. 

“VaDeer and Riley are two of the top pitchers in Class A baseball. VaDeer has those sliders and he throws so hard. Riley made one mistake all day, but he had their good hitters off balanced,” Koenigs said. “L-P has such a good team and they have such good pitching. You just know it’s going to be a 1-0 type game. We got the win and we’re happy. In games like this, we find out how tough everybody is. You find out who wants to be up there and who doesn’t.”

The loss snaps a 15-game winning streak for the Athletics (15-1 overall). L-P head coach Brock Meyer said the team will need to regroup before the postseason.

“These games are more fun. They give you a playoff atmosphere and that’s good for us. We’ll put it away and we’ll move forward with it,” Meyer said. “We’ve played three or four games a week in the past few weeks and it takes its toll. Hunter did a good job and he left one pitch up to a good hitter and they did the same thing to Hunter. That’s baseball. We move forward.”

Lyle-Pacelli 000 000 100  0  –  1  2  2

Southland 001 000 000  1  –  2  5  1

Southland pitching: Riley Jax, 8 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 14 K, 1 HBP; Tyson Stevens (W) 1 ⅔ IP 2 BB, 0 R, 1 HBP

Southland hitting: Gavin Nelsen, 0-for-1, R, 4 BBs; Stevens, 1-for-5, double; Travis Kirtz, 2-for-3, RBI, 2 BBs; Austin Swenson, 1-for-5, RBI; Jonas Wiste, 0-for-4; Maverick Hanna, 0-for-4; Beau Sathre, 0-for-3, BB; Riley Jax, 1-for-3, R, SB; Cole Miller, 0-for-4

LP pitching: Hunter VaDeer, 7 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 1 ER, 15 K; Dane Schara (L) 2 ⅔ IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 2 K

LP hitting: Landon Meyer, 0-for-3, BB; Logyn Brooks, 0-for-3; VaDeer, 1-for-2, HR, RBI, R, BB, HBP; Isaac Nelsen, 0-for-4; Schara, 0-for-3, HBP; Jack Klingfus, 0-for-4; Isaac Small, 1-for-3, BB; Hunter Wollenberg, 0-for-2; Grady Meyer, 0-for-4; Dawson Jenkins, 0-for-1