Albion Tigers turn on the power
The Albion Tigers turned on the power at the most appropriate time in Home Talent League baseball.
Aaron Laskowski connected on a two-run blast in the 13th inning Sunday, giving the visiting Tigers their first home run of the season and a 4-2 victory over Lodi to capture the West Division championship in the Southeast Section.
In avenging a 3-1 loss, Albion finished the regular season at 11-5 to win the title by one game over Lodi (10-6).
Both teams advance to the Southeast playoffs. Albion hosts East Division runner-up Jefferson at 1 p.m. next Sunday, while Lodi plays at East Division champion Fort Atkinson.
Mike Nanstad turned another workhorse performance in pitching Albion past Lodi. While throwing a staggering 190 pitches in 12 innings, the right-handed standout struck out 13, allowed only four hits and no earned runs.
Josh Eastman, the Player of the Year for Edgerton High in the Rock Valley North this past season, pitched the 13th in getting the save. He allowed only one hit and no earned runs.
The other big story was Albion’s power play in the top of the 13th. As it started to rain, Jason Millar led off the inning with a single, advanced to third on two straight wild pitches and broke a 1-1 tie on Matt Buhrow’s RBI single.
After two groundouts, Laskowski came through with his blast to left field for what proved to be the decisive runs.
Lodi provided a major threat in the bottom of the 13th, however, by loading bases with one out. After Bucky Kurt’s infield grounder drove in one run, Eastman struck out Lodi star Tyler Kurt to end the game.
Laskowski got a leadoff single in the third and scored on Ben Everson’s double to give Albion a 1-0 lead that lasted until the ninth.
Josh Brewer led off the Lodi ninth with a single and advanced to third when Sam Paque reached on a sacrifice bunt and throwing error. Drew Ryan’s infield gounder then drove in the run that forced extra innings.
Albion loaded the bases with out in the 11th, but Everson’s line drive to the third baseman resulted in a double play that extended the marathon two more innings.
-- Orfordville 4, Evansville 0—Pat Moore pitched a six-inning no-hitter to lead Orfordville past the visiting Jays in a rain-shortened regular-season finale.
Tyler Martin had an RBI single in a two-run first and a sacrifice fly in a two-run second to highlight the scoring as the Orioles climbed to 6-10 in the West Division and dropped Evansville to 3-13.
-- Jefferson 7, Lake Mills 3—Jefferson (10-6) captured second place and the East Division’s No. 2 playoff seed by whipping Lake Mills (5-11).
Bowe Bushey’s two-run single ignited the Blue Devils in a 6 ½-inning game that ended after an ejection left Lake Mills with only eight players.
-- Whitewater 9, Cambridge 2—Three first-inning errors helped the Swingers gain the upper hand, and they rolled behind Jason Kollwelter’s complete pitching performance.
The loss dropped third-place Cambridge (9-7) from East Division playoff contention, while Whitewater finished 5-11 in the East.