Aberdeen survives rallying Post 15 team in W.C. opener
The scene was set perfectly for American Legion John Bridges Post 15 third baseman Jake Kiebke to come out the hero in the opening game of the Water Carnival tournament on Thursday night.
Except his line drive to left center was caught by a lunging Aberdeen, S.D., centerfielder.
"He was pretty fast on that one," Kiebke said.
What could have given Detroit Lakes a stunning win over a team comprised of the South Dakota Class A champions for four of the past five years instead turned into a 7-5 loss.
"Jake Kiebke did his job," said Detroit Lakes coach Mitch McLeod. "He hit a line drive into the gap. The kid made a great catch. If he doesn't, doesn't come up with that catch and he dives, we win the game because (Aaron) Gnoinsky scores."
When Detroit Lakes (10-14) tallied two quick outs to start the seventh, its hopes seemed dim.
But Aberdeen reliever Bryce Anglin allowed a walk and a single to put some worry on his teammates faces.
Sam Heintzman came on to finish the job and loaded the bases when he walked Gnoinsky.
From there, it was Jake Kiebke's turn in the batter's box and at first it looked as if the ball would find the ground, which would have scored Gnoinsky easily as he was running on contact. Shane Cunningham's catch snatched away a Post 15 win.
"I thought it was going to be in the gap on that one," Kiebke said.
Kiebke's chance was his second with the bases full. In the fifth with Detroit Lakes down a run, he grounded to short ending a threat to take the lead.
"I got a good swing," Kiebke said. "I just got it in the wrong spot, I guess. I didn't come through."
With one out in the inning, leadoff hitter Conner McLeod struck out with the bases loaded. Gnoinsky came through with an RBI single that scored Adam Thielen.
On that play, Max Bentley was held on third as the Smitty's left fielder was in prime position to make a throw to the plate to stop the tying run from coming across.
Detroit Lakes had the lead for a short time as it went up 4-3 in the third.
Chris Gilson's double scored Kiebke, who went to first after being hit in the head with a pitch. Kiebke went to second on a groundout later on and to third on a passed ball.
Thielen's at-bat scored the next two runs of the inning when two errors on the play let him come all the way home.
A throwing error by Aberdeen shortstop Brendon Hoellein on the play to first let Thielen try for third. First baseman Blair Fredrickson picked up the ball to try to throw Thielen out and ended up throwing the ball into Detroit Lakes' dugout.
Thielen scored since he was already on his way to third and then allowed an extra base due to the ball being thrown out of play.
The Smittys fourth put them in front for good. Cunningham led off with a walk and scored on Justin Kline's double. With two outs, Hoellein's RBI double gave Aberdeen a 5-4 lead.
A run in the fifth and the sixth closed out the Smittys' scoring.
Aberdeen took a quick lead by scoring its first two runs in the top of the first. Cunningham led off with a single and Heintzman scored him from first with a double.
Kline's RBI single brought Heinztman in.
Post 15 got a run back in its turn in the first. Gnoinsky singled and stole second to get into scoring position. Kiebke came through with an RBI single.
With the bases loaded later in the inning, Detroit Lakes couldn't capitalize - a story all night as it left 11 runners on base.
"We left too many runners on base," Mitch McLeod said. "I talked to the guys about being set to hit. We're not getting our foot down on time."
Nick Polejewski pitched all seven innings for Detroit Lakes in the loss. He allowed 11 hits and struck out four.
"I was really happy with Polejewski," Mitch McLeod said. "He threw great. He got a little inconsistent with his control, but he's a junior and he really hasn't had a lot of time on the mound."
Anglin picked up the win in his two innings of work as Aberdeen starter Justin Heier didn't pitch the required five innings, as he was relieved in the fifth with two outs on the board. Heier allowed nine hits.
Post 15 stats
Aberdeen, S.D. at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, June 17.
Aberdeen 201 211 0 - 7 11 2
DL 103 010 0 - 5 11 3
AB R H Bi
Cunningham 5 2 3 1
Heintzman 5 1 2 1
Kline 3 2 1 2
Nolte 3 1 0 0
Hoellein 4 0 3 1
Fredrickson 4 0 1 1
Jordre 3 1 1 0
Kinder 2 0 0 1
Christianson 3 0 0 0
Totals 32 7 11 7
2B: Heintzman, Hoellein, Kline.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): Heier 4.2-9-5-3-4-3; Anglin (WP) 2-1-0-0-1-2; Heintzman (SV) .1-1-0-0-1-0.
AB R H Bi
McLeod 5 0 1 0
Gnoinsky 5 1 4 1
Kiebke 3 1 1 1
Dickey 4 0 0 0
Magnuson 4 0 0 1
Gilson 4 1 2 0
Thielen 4 2 1 0
Bentley 3 0 2 0
Johnson 2 0 0 0
Totals 34 5 11 3
2B: Gilson, Gnoinsky,
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): A - Heier 4.2-9-5-3-4-3; Anglin (WP) 2-1-0-0-1-2; Heintzman (SV) .1-1-0-0-1-0. DL - Polejewski (LP) 7-11-7-7-5-3.