Spencer pulls off 7th inning comeback

Thursday, June 14, 2018
Spencer’s Brady Kluender safely slides into second for one of his four stolen bases Thursday night against Algona. Kluender scored five runs in the 13-12 Tiger win.
Photo by Nate Shaughnessy

Despite building an 8-2 lead over the first four innings, Spencer’s boys found themselves in a 12-9 hole going to the bottom of the seventh Thursday night against Algona at Andy McGaffin Field. However, a bases loaded walk, a groundout and a wild pitch tied it up at 12-12 with Colton Wilinski at the plate. The sophomore catcher proceeded to line a shot into center to bring home Michael Storey for the walk-off 13-12 victory.

It was Algona that got on the board first with the help of a wild pitch in the opening frame, but a leadoff double by Brady Kluender in the bottom half turned into a tying run two batters later when Storey brought him home with a fly ball to center.

The Bulldogs simply couldn’t get an out in the bottom of the third, loading the bases with walks and a late throw to first on a sacrifice bunt and giving away a run on an error. Storey then made it 3-1 with a single to score Kluender once again.

A bases loaded walk made it 4-1, setting up a two-run double by Kade Carpenter to make it 6-1.

Algona got one back in the fourth, but four walks, a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly in the bottom half gave Spencer an 8-2 advantage and had the game looking like it might end early.

However, the ‘Dogs cranked a three-run moon shot to left field in the fifth to make it an 8-5 game.

Kluender got one run back in the fifth by drawing a walk, stealing second and third and flying home on a wild pitch.

Algona came back with another long ball in the sixth — just after Spencer employed a hidden ball trick to pick off a runner at second, faking an errant throw to center and tagging the runner — to make it a one-run game at 9-8 and pulled in front in the top of the seventh with the help of two hit batters, an error, a double and a single for a 12-9 game, setting up Wilinksi’s heroics in the bottom of the seventh.

Nick Elsbecker got the start for the Tigers, giving up five earned runs on seven hits and three walks with nine strikeouts in five innings. Ethan Heiter conceded three earned runs on three hits and two walks with a strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning of relief. Michael Storey pitched the remaining 1 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts.

Carpenter was the only Tiger with multiple hits, going 2-for-3. Storey finished with a team-high four RBIs while Kluender went 1-for-1 with three walks and scored five runs.

Spencer moves to 8-4 overall with the win and returns to Lakes Conference play Friday night in Spirit Lake.

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