Albion ousted at Class C Seniors state

July 30, 2018

ALBION — The hosts had a short stay at the Class C American Legion Seniors state tournament.

Jessie Sullivan hit a home run off the scoreboard in the sixth inning, but that was the only run that Albion Cornerstone Bank scored against Dannebrog-Cairo-Boelus in a 5-1 loss at Leon Nelson Memorial Field.

DCB took advantage of two errors for a two-run third inning, added another in the fourth, and used four singles to score two more to answer Sullivan’s homer in the sixth.

“Anytime you can get insurance runs, it’s huge,” DCB coach Justin Caspersen said. “We were just hoping for a few more with the bases loaded.”

Both teams left the game wanting more.

DCB had a runner caught stealing to end the first inning, and another picked off for the first out in the second. It left the bases loaded in the fourth, and left two more on in scoring position in the sixth.

Albion couldn’t get much going offensively, stranding two in scoring position in the second. It had just two baserunners the rest of the game — a Rylan Kramer single in the fifth and Sullivan’s homer.

“They hit the holes and we didn’t,” Albion coach Lowell Imus said. “They made the plays and we didn’t.”

The most drama may have come off the field thanks to the pitch-count rules.

With two outs in the seventh inning, DCB reliever Elijah Boersen exited the game with a 1-1 count on Albion’s Weston Choat because Boersen had reached 30 pitches in 1@-E innings — the most anyone can throw without a day of rest between appearances. DCB opted to bring back starter Joel Kaczor, who threw just 56 pitches in allowing no runs on two hits in the first five innings, even though the team was using a designated hitter.

After a lengthy discussion that involved all three umpires, coaches from both teams and tournament officials, it was determined that Kaczor could re-enter the game, but he would have to take the designated hitter’s spot in the batting lineup. Four pitches later, Kaczor struck out Choat to end the game.

That left Kaczor at 60 pitches — the most any pitcher can throw without needing more than two days of rest between appearances.

“Sometimes things work out like that,” Caspersen said. “I appreciate them taking the time to get it right.”

In the third inning, DCB got the scoring started when Peyton Dowse hit a bouncing grounder with two outs that went off an Albion infielder’s glove and into the outfield, scoring two runs.

The next inning, DCB loaded the bases with no outs. No. 8 batter Noah Boersen, who went 2 for 2 as the only player in the game with multiple hits, singled in one run. Albion shortstop Carsten Bird threw to catcher Sullivan for a force-out at home, and a groundout limited the damage.

Sullivan put Albion on the board — literally — by taking the seventh pitch of his at-bat into left field, hitting the scoreboard in the process.

DCB pitchers Kaczor and Elijah Boersen limited things from there. Kaczor allowed two hits and struck out three in 5!-E innings total, while Boersen allowed just one hit, Sullivan’s homer.

Weston Choat took the complete-game loss for Albion, allowing six hits — four in the sixth inning — as the defense finished with four errors.

Albion 000 001 0 — 1 3 4

DCB 002 102 X — 5 6 0

WP: Joel Kaczor. LP: Weston Choat. HR: (ALB) Jessie Sullivan. SB: (DCB) Noah Wooden.

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