Bray's 13 strikeouts, 2 RBI leads Eden Prairie past Grand IslandAdam Bray stuck out 13 and drove in a pair of runs to lead Eden Prairie, Minn., to a 6-0 victory over Grand Island (Neb.) Home Federal in the opening game of the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament Thursday at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Adam Bray locked in and unloaded on Grand Island (Neb.) Home Federal.
The Eden Prairie (Minn.) pitcher did work on the mound and at the plate, striking out 13, giving up two hits and driving in two runs as he lead his team to a 6-0 victory in the opening round of the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament Thursday at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
“I can’t say enough about Adam and the job he did today,” said Eden Prairie coach Scott Hackett, whose team is the defending region champion. “He set the tone for us. Even though we weren’t hitting, he set the tone for us for a while. He did a great job.”
Bray and Tyler Peterson drove in runs in the first inning to give Eden Prairie a 2-0 cushion it would keep until the ninth, when they added four insurance runs — including one on Bray’s base hit to left field.
Even though he was 3-for-5 at the plate, Bray was more impressive at the belt.
He struck out batters in each inning but the third and sixth. He only threw four pitches in the sixth as he forced an infield putout and two pop-ups to left field.
“I was feeling good. Coming out of the bullpen, I just focused on having three pitches for a strike,” said Bray, who will play for South Dakota State next spring. “I focused on pounding the zone, getting my curveball over and letting my defense work for me.”
Grand Island pitcher Chayse Gulzow kept his team in it, striking out six through 7 2/3 innings and 138 pitches.
However, errors stymied Grand Island.
Eden Prairie’s opening run scored after a bobble at shortstop.
In the ninth, after Grand Island had turned to reliever Tanner Meyer, the wheels came off.
A high throw to first by third baseman Jordan Carlson allowed Tony Skjefte to score from third. Bray’s single to left tacked on another run. Meyer beaned Ryan Maenke with the bases loaded and a check throw to first base by catcher Max Ayoub later in the inning went into foul territory and scored Bray in from third.
Will Bamesberger and Alec Waters had Grand Island’s only hits in the third and ninth innings, respectively.
“We had too many unforced errors,” Grand Island coach Tino Martinez said. “It led to some of their runs. Chayse battled awful tough for us too. We just couldn’t get anything going.”
Eden Prairie improved to 34-7-1 and faces the winner of tonight’s game between Mandan and Sioux Falls (S.D.) East at 5 p.m. Friday. Grand Island falls to 38-18 and faces the loser of that game at 10 a.m. Friday.
Though it took his team a while to get going, Hackett was impressed with the way his team responded to the tournament.
“The first one is always the biggest,” Hackett said. “The first game of the tournament, you’re not sure if the nerves will be there. You take it any way you can get it. Our guys stayed upbeat and played hard the whole game and we’ll definitely take it.
“The first one’s the big one. Now the next one’s the big one.”
EP 200 000 004 — 6 14 0
GI 000 000 000 — 0 2 4
Adam Bray and Danny Blasey. Chayse Gulzow, Tanner Meyer (7) and Max Ayoub. W–Bray. L–Gulzow. HR–None.
Highlights: EP, Tyler Ruemmele 2-for-6, run; Tony Skjefte 3-for-5, 2 runs; Tyler Peterson 1-for-5, RBI, 2 runs; Lance Thronvold 1-for-5, run; Adam Bray CG, 13 K, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3-for-5, 2 RBI, run; Danny Blasey 1-for-4; Ryan Maenke 1-for-4, RBI; David Belusky 2-for-4. GI, Chayse Gulzow 7.2 IP, 10 H, 1 ER, 6 K, 1 BB; Will Bamesberger 1-for-4; Alec Waters 1-for-3.
Records: EP 34-7-1, GI 38-18.