10th-inning error lifts Carroll over OmahaCarroll County, Iowa, was down, but not out. The team that ended its regular Legion season in May persevered past Omaha (Neb.) Pi Midwest 5-4 in extra innings in the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament Saturday at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Carroll County, Iowa, was down, but not out.
The team that ended its regular Legion season in May persevered past Omaha (Neb.) Pi Midwest 5-4 in extra innings in the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament Saturday at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
“We just kind of hung around long enough,” Carroll County head coach Matt Lujano said. “It looked like we were a little flat early, but the boys came out of it.
“That’s what happens when you sit around for a day and a half.”
The Merchants scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th on an error by Omaha second baseman Cale Dineen that sent Bryce Berg home.
Carroll County’s Brandon Wessels had a big first game against Dickinson on Thursday night, going 3-for-4 with a home run.
The right fielder had a little different experience at the plate against Omaha. Wessels was 0-for-3, coming in as the final out of the game.
“I just tried to get the ball in play to advance a runner,” Wessels said. “I was also trying to keep my shoulder up, because I had been dropping it all game.”
So Wessels fixed his stance and swing and ripped a two-run double to tie the game at 4-4.
“He hadn’t had a very good game up to that point, so we liked our chances for him to come through,” Lujano said. “The averages were definitely in our favor.”
Omaha went into the ninth leading 4-2 thanks to a two-run single by Aaron Goynes in the sixth and a RBI single by TJ Wood. The state champions from Nebraska got on the board first with on an error by Wessels that scored Kyle Kubat.
The Merchants’ first two runs came off the bat of Bryce Wessels on a two-run single in the fourth.
Gage Reis started the game for the Merchants, throwing 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and striking out two on 123 pitches. Ben Bruck came on in his second relief appearance of the tournament, going 4 1/3 innings and giving up four hits while striking out two.
“I give props to Gage,” Lujano said. “He’s a first-year sophomore and he had a great performance against a team that swings the bats well. Ben come in two games in a row and closed it out for us.”
Cory Borsh tossed nine innings with 129 pitches for Omaha, allowing four runs and striking out four.
Aiden Hook took the loss. The reliever didn’t record an out and walked two batters.
Carroll County had 11 pitchers coming into the tournament and has used three in its first two games. Lujano said he feels extremely comfortable about where his team is sitting.
“Arms-wise, we are in a really good spot,” Lujano said. “We like our chances with having eight, nine guys we can still give ball to.”
Omaha 001 003 000 0 — 4 10 2
CC 000 200 002 1 — 5 8 3
Cory Borsh, Aiden Hook (10), Billy Lipari and Dallas Schramm. Gage Reis, Ben Bruck (6) and Bryce Berg. W–Bruck. L–Hook.
Highlights: CC, Bryce Wessles 2-for-4, 2 RBI, run; Brandon Wessels 1-for-4, 2 RBI; Bryce Berg 0-for-3, 2 runs; Bruck 1-for-4, RBI. O, Aaron Goynes 1-for-4, 2 RBI; Billy Lipari 3-for-3 Kyle Kubat 1-for-2, run; Derek Petrich 2-for-5; Zak Leighton 1-for-4, run.
Records: Carroll County 16-3 Omaha 37-12.
Eden Prairie 12, Mandan 2 (7 innings)
Carroll County 5, Omaha 4 (10 innings)
Mandan 5, Lino Lakes 2
Omaha 16, Sioux Falls East 10
Eden Prairie 8, Carroll County 2
Mandan vs. Carroll County, 3 p.m.
Eden Prairie vs. Omaha, 6 p.m.
Championship: Sunday’s winners, 11 a.m. (Second championship at 2 p.m. if necessary)