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WP: Matt Swanson (Upsala) 1 1/3IP 0r 1h 0k 1bb
SP: Matt Tautges 7 2/3IP 6r 12h 1k 2bb (113 pitches)
LP: Jade Boettcher 2 2/3IP 8r 8h 2k 1bb 1hp
SP: Tyler Schmitz 6IP 4r 7h 2k 3bb 1hp (105 pitches)
Brandon Wolf (Owatonna) 1/3IP 2r 2h 0k 0bb
Matt Tautges 1-6 2B, 2 rbi, run
Lane Girtz 2-5 2B, hp, sb(2), 2 rbi, run
Matt Kummet 1-4 bb, hp, rbi, run
-Alex Funk 0-0
Aaron Weber 2-4 2B, bb(2), rbi, 2 runs
-Andy Winscher 0-0 run
Noah Boser 5-6 Hr, 2B, sb, 3 rbi, 3 runs
Joe Kahl 2-6 2B, 2 rbi, run
Shawn Lanners 2-4 bb, rbi, 2 runs
-Andrew Rueckert 0-0
Jack Suska 1-4 2B, sac, rbi, run
Travis Kahl 0-4 run
-Mark Kahl 1-1 rbi
Ben Ihrke 0-4 bb
Tyler Schmitz 2-4 sac fly, rbi, run
Derek McCready 2-5 2B, run
Sean Hohmeister 1-4 bb, rbi, run
-Connor Nelson 0-0
Jade Boettcher 1-4 bb, run
Josh Evans 2-5 2B, rbi, run
Kip Gronholz 2-4 rbi
Max Runkle 1-4
Jack Boehm 2-4 sb, run
The Buckman Billygoats overcame a 5-0 deficit after 1 inning and a 6-1 deficit after 4 innings and rallied to defeat the Stewartville-Racine Sharks 14-6 in the Class C State Tournament 1st round in Delano on Saturday.
The Billygoats were retired in order in the top of the 1st by Sharks starter Tyler Schmitz on an F-7, 5-3, 4-3 scoring plays. In the bottom of the 1st, Billygoats starter Matt Tautges retired the Sharks lead-off batter on a 1st pitch ground out to 3rd baseman Aaron Weber. But after that, the Sharks went to work. Tyler Schmitz singled to center, followed by a double to deep center by Derek McCready and the Sharks had runners at 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Matt Tautges was then called for a balk, which forced in the first run of the game with Schmitz scoring and McCready advancing to 3rd. Sean Hohmeister then singled to make it 2-0, followed by another single by Jade Boettcher. Josh Evans then lined a double to right to drive in another run to make it 3-0. Kip Gronholz then dropped a single into right field that scored another run, and when the ball was misplayed for a Buckman error, Evans also scored on the play and the Sharks led 5-0. Tautges finally got out of the inning with a pair of fly balls to the outfield, but Stewartville-Racine had hung 5 runs on 6 hits on the scoreboard to build a big lead after just 1 inning.
In the top of the 2nd, Aaron Weber led off with a double to center for the Billygoats, then Noah Boser lined a run-scoring single into left-center to bring in Weber to make it 5-1. Boser would advance as 3rd base, but was stranded there on an inning-ending strikeout by Schmitz.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Tautges had a MUCH better performance, setting the Sharks down in order on 3 ground balls, to Jack Suska, Lane Girtz and Aaron Weber and it was 5-1 after 2 full innings.
In the top of the 3rd, Buckman's Travis Kahl led off and was robbed of a hit on a great backhanded stab by 2nd baseman Max Runkle for the first out. Matt Tautges then flew out to center, with Lane Girtz then getting hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive. Girtz was able to steal 2nd but was left in scoring position when Matt Kummet grounded out to 1st to end the inning. In the bottom of the 3rd, Tautges got the lead-off batter to pop up to 2nd baseman Lane Girtz in shallow right. Jade Boettcher then reached on a throwing error, but was then erased on a fielders choice grounder from Jack Suska to Lane Girtz to give the Sharks runner at 1st with 2 outs. Kip Gronholz then had his second hit of the game with a single and the Sharks had men at 1st and 2nd. Max Runkle then lined a single to left, but the Sharks lead runner, Josh Evans had stopped at 3rd and the runner behind him, Kip Gronholz, came racing into 3rd, only to see his teammate stationed there already. After a brief rundown, Gronholz was tagged out near 2nd to end the inning and squash a potential scoring rally, keeping it 5-1 after 3 complete.
In the top of the 4th, Buckman's Aaron Weber led off by reaching on an error. Noah Boser then singled, with Weber sprinting into 3rd. After a pop up to 3rd produced the 1st out, Boser successfully stole 2nd to give Buckman runners at 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. A walk to Goats DH Shawn Lanners then filled the bases. Jack Suska's grounder back to the pitcher resulted in a force out at the plate for the second out of the inning, and then Tyler Schmitz got Travis Kahl to also hit back to the mound, and the Goats came up empty, leaving the bases loaded and still trailing 5-1. The Sharks had their #9 hitter, Jack Boehm, leading off the bottom of the 4th and he quickly put down a perfect bunt single. With a quick pick-off move to 1st, it appeared that Boehm had gotten picked off, but Buckman's inability to execute the rundown resulted in Boehm being able to reach 2nd base safely. From there, he advanced to 3rd on a ground out to 2nd baseman Lane Girt, then tagged up and scored on a sacrifice fly to deep left by Tyler Schmitz, making it 6-1. Tautges then got the final out of the inning on a fly out to Noah Boser in center. But now the Sharks had re-established their 5-run advantage with a 6-1 lead after 4 innings.
The Billygoats put together a potential 2-out rally in the top of the 5th against Schmitz. Matt Tautges popped out to shortstop then Lane Girtz bounced out to 2nd. Matt Kummet then took a walk, as did Aaron Weber to put 2 men on base. Noah Boser then blistered a line drive right back up the middle that was somehow snagged by the pitcher Schmitz to end the inning. In the bottom of the 5th, Tautges got Sean Hohmeister to ground out to Aaron Weber at 3rd, then Jade Boettcher bounced out to Jack Suska at shortstop. A 2-out single put Josh Evan on base, but Tautges ended the frame with Kip Gronholz flying out to right fielder Travis Kahl to complete the 5th inning with the Sharks still ahead 6-1.
In the top of the 6th, Buckman got a lead-off double by Joe Kahl. Shawn Lanners then dropped a single into shallow right to bring home Kahl and make it 6-2. Jack Suska then stepped to the plate and blasted a double off the right field fence to move Lanners to 3rd. Tyler Schmitz then got the first out of the inning on a called 3rd strike to Travis Kahl. Matt Tautges then drove in Lanners with a ground out to 1st to make it 6-3, with Suska advancing to 3rd with 2 outs. The next Billygoats batter, Lane Girtz, then drilled a double to right-center, plating Suska and making it 6-4. The Sharks then came up with a stellar defensive play when their center fielder Ben Ihrke made a head-first diving catch of a line drive off the bat of Matt Kummet to end the inning with the score now reading 6-4. In the bottom of the 6th, Tautges recorded his second 1-2-3 inning of the game with a pop up to Joe Kahl at 1st, a strikeout and a ground out to Jack Suska at shortstop.
Buckman then continued their comeback in the top of the 7th. And it happened against a new pitcher as the Sharks brought in Jade Boettcher to relieve Tyler Schmitz. Aaron Weber was the first man Boettcher would face and Weber took a close pitch on a full count for ball 4 and took a walk. Noah Boser then cranked a double for his 3rd hit of the game, chasing Weber to 3rd with no outs. That brought up Joe Kahl, who lined a single just inside the bag at 1st to score both Weber and Boser and the Billygoats had tied the game at 6-6. Boettcher then made a nice fielding play when Shawn Lanners bounced a high chopper over the mound, towards 2nd, but Boettcher was able to retrieve the ball and throw out Lanners, with Kahl advancing to 3rd with 1 out. Boettcher however was able to preserve the tie by striking out Jack Suska and then ending the inning with Travis Kahl popping out to 3rd and Buckman had tied thing up, but also stranded the potential go-ahead run at 3rd. In the bottom of the 7th, Tyler Schmitz led off the inning with a single off Tautges, but consecutive fly outs to Travis Kahl in right produced 2 quick outs. A 4-pitch walk to Jade Boettcher advanced the potential go-ahead run into scoring position for the Sharks, but Tautges stranded both runners with a fly out to center fielder Noah Boser and the 7th inning was complete with the game still tied 6-6.
In the top of the 8th, the Goats went out relatively quickly against Boettcher and the Sharks as Matt Tautges grounded out to 2nd, Lane Girtz was retired on strikes with Matt Kummet getting drilled in the forearm by a pitch to reach 1st with 2 outs. But Aaron Weber's fly out to center ended the top of the 8th still tied 6-6. It looked like it was going to be a dramatic win for one of these two clubs as the game headed to the bottom of the 8th. Matt Tautges got the first batter to fly out to right fielder Travis Kahl, then got the next man to ground out to shortstop Jack Suska. #9 hitter Jack Boehm then collected a 2-out single, followed by a walk to Ben Ihrke to put men on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. Due up for the Sharks was Tyler Schmitz, who already had delivered a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly against Tautges. With his pitch count sitting at 113 and the success that Schmitz had already shown against Tautges, the decision was made to bring in veteran lefty Matt Swanson, a draftee from the Upsala Blue Jays to face Schmitz with the lead on the line. Swanson did exactly what was needed for the Billygoats, getting Schmitz to loft a fly ball to Matt Tautges, now playing in center field to end the 8th till tied at 6-6.
That set the stage for the 9th inning. And the 9th inning against Stewartville-Racine at the 2019 Class C State Tournament will long be remembered as one of the most impressive ever played by a Buckman squad. Noah Boser led off the inning by collecting his 4th hit of the game, a single. Joe Kahl then followed with a fly out to center for out #1. With Shawn Lanners at the plate, the Billygoats put the hit-and-run play on, with Boser taking off for 2nd on a 1-1 pitch to Lanners. With the Sharks shortstop vacating his position to go and cover 2nd base, Lanners reached out and flicked the ball through the wide-open hole on the left side of the infield, with Boser racing to 3rd. That brought up Jack Suska, who has always been an excellent bunter. And this situation was ripe for the squeeze play to be called. After the first pitch was fouled back for strike 1, Suska was able to get his bunt attempt down near the 3rd base line, The Sharks pitcher Jade Boettcher fielded the ball, made a quick glance back at Boser near 3rd, and then unleashed his throw to 1st to retire Suska for the 2nd out of the inning. But as the ball left Boettcher's hand, that's when Boser broke for home. The relay back to the plate fro 1st baseman Derek McCready was on target, but just a fraction late as Boser made a head-first dive for home plate, with his handing touching home just before the tag was applied and Buckman had their first led of the game at 7-6! Keep in mind, if Boser is thrown out, the inning is over and Buckman doesn't score at all in the 9th. What happened next is the kind of thing you'd almost have to have been there and seen to believe. Mark Kahl grabbed a new bat that he had purchased just hours earlier, and strode to the plate to pinch-hit for Travis Kahl. With Shawn Lanners at 2nd, Kahl jumped on the first pitch he saw from Boettcher and roped a single into right-center to drive in Lanners and make it 8-6. Travis Kahl then re-entered to run for Mark Kahl at 1st base. Travis Kahl then swiped 2nd and went to 3rd on a throwing error. Matt Tautges then lined an rbi double to left to bring in Kahl and make it 9-6. Lane Girtz followed with an rbi single of his own to plate Tautges and it was 10-6! Girtz then stole his second base of the game. Matt Kummet then whistled an rbi single to center to bring in Girtz to make it 11-6, and also that knocked Jade Boettcher out of the game as the Sharks brought in draftee from Owatonna, Brandon Wolf, to face Aaron Weber. After a wild pitch moved Kummet to 2nd, Aaron Weber's single brought in Kummet and the Billygoats lead had mushroomed to 12-6! With Andy Winscher pinch-running for Weber at 1st, Noah Boser stepped to the plate, already with a 4-hit game. He then put his name in the record books with his 5th hit, an emphatic 2-run Homer to right to give the Billygoats a 14-6 lead! A ground out to 1st finally ended the top of the 9th, but by then, 11 Buckman batters had come up, 8 of them scoring on 8 hits and a once-close game had been blown wide open. In the bottom of the 9th, Derek McCready led off with a base hit against Matt Swanson, followed by a walk to Sean Hohmeister to put 2 men on base with no outs. That brought up Jade Boettcher, who his a sharp one-hop line drive back to Swanson. Swanny fielded the ball, fire to 3rd baseman Aaron Weber for a force out, and then Weber zipped the ball across the diamond to 1st baseman Joe Kahl to complete a big 1-5-3 double play. Swanson then recorded the final out of the game by getting Josh Evan to fly out to right fielder Travis Kahl, who put the ball away for his 6th putout of the game and sealing the Billygoats 14-6 victory! Buckman now advances to the 2nd round, where they will face the Region 2 Champions, the New Ulm Brewers on Sunday, August 25th at 1:30 pm in Maple Lake.
To round out this report, let me tell you about Noah Boser's 5-hit game and its historical significance. The 2019 State Tournament is the 96th Annual. And in nearly a century of games and thousands upon thousands of players to compete in the State Tournament, the State Tournament record book shows that over the previous 95 years, only 3 players in history had collected 6 hits in a game, and 2 of those needed significant extra-inning games to accomplish that feat. The first player to do it was Walt Menke of Albert Lea, who did it in 1946. In 2013, Howard Lake's Eric Schreifels had a 6-hit game in a 17 inning contest against Belle Plaine. And then in last years Tournament, Brice Panning of Young America had 6 hits in the Cardinals 14-inning win over New Market. Why do I mention those 3 men with 6 hits? Because Noah Boser came within a spectacular line drive catch by Stewartville-Racine pitcher Tyler Schmitz of joining that exclusive 6-hit club. I believe of all the balls put in play by Noah, that line drive was his second hardest smash of the game, only behind his 9th inning Homer. So Noah's 5-hit game meant he joined 30 other players in the Tournament's history to accomplish that impressive feat. Remember, nearly a century full of games, thousands of players that have had the opportunity, and Noah Boser now belongs on that very elite list! Congratulations Noah!