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Billygoats Oust Buttermakers

By: Mark Zinnel- Buttermaker Reporter

The Hadley Buttermakers fourth consecutive trip to the State Amateur Baseball Tournament did not go the way the Buttermakers had planned.  The Buttermakers were primed to make their way into tourney play through the Labor Day weekend and make a run at the championship.  But, the Buckman Billygoats proved to be a tough opponent as they silenced the Hadley bats and snuck away with a 7-5 win … knocking the Buttermakers out for a run at the state title.  Here is the game recap: 

Pipestone draftee, Brandan Alfson was given the starting nod for Hadley to tame the Billygoats.  Alfson retired the Billygoats in the 1st inning.  In Hadley’s at bat, Blake Rogers would double but Hadley was unable to bring him in as the game moved to the 2nd.

In the 2nd, Buckman got things started. Eric Wieneke was unable to get to the ball as the batter reached base.  Buckman got a single to right field to put 2 runners on base.  Alfson would record another strikeout for the 2nd out.  It looked like Hadley would escape the inning without Buckman scoring, but Buckman would not be done as they would get another infield single to load the bases on a hit that was once again knocked down by Alfson that the Buttermaker’s infield was unable to make a play. Alfson then would issue a bases loaded walk to force in the 1st run for Buckman.  Things didn’t get any better for Hadley as Buckman would get 2 more infield singles to score 2 more runs to go up 3-0.  Alfson would get a 3rd out strikeout to end the inning and leaving the bases loaded with Billygoats.

The game would move to the 3rd at 3-0.  In the bottom of the 3rd, Hadley got on the board.  Derek Platt led off by working out a walk.  Platt would move to 2nd on a successful stolen base.  Joe Larson would pop out for the 1st out.  Nick Bruning then stepped up and hit a hot ground ball that the Billygoat shortstop could not field as Derek Platt moved up to 3rd.  The relay throw back to the plate got by the catcher to allow Derek Platt to race home and Nick Bruning to move to 2nd base.  Blake Rogers would then single to score Bruning.  Max Zwart would strikeout and Trent Carlson ground out to end Hadley’s scoring threat.

Buckman threatened to score in the 4th as they loaded the bases on 2 hits and a walk.  Alfson was able to record a 3rd out strikeout to move the game along.  Buckman would add to their lead in the 5th inning.  Buckman would get back-to-back singles off Alfson to start the inning.  A wild pitch would move the runner from 2nd up to 3rd.  Alfson would get a soft ground ball hit to Derek Platt at short that was misplayed as he hurried to make a play allowing the runner at 3rd to score.  A sacrifice bunt would move the runners up a base.  A sacrifice fly ball out would follow to score another run to move the Buckman advantage to 5-2.

Lakefield draftee, Ryan Christopher was brought into relieve Alfson in the 6th inning.  Buckman greeted Christopher with a leadoff  triple and a single to go up 6-2.  Christopher would then pick off the runner at 1st base for the 1st out of the inning.  Christopher would then issue a walk.  After recording a 2nd out strikeout; Buckman would get a double off Christopher to score another run and go up 7-2. Things looked bad for Hadley, but the Buttermakers stayed confident.

Hadley would get on the board in their half of the 6th.  Max Zwart would lead off and reach base on a Buckman fielding error.  Trent Carlson would hit a ground ball that Buckman was unable to turn a double play as Carlson beat the relay throw at 1st.  Eric Wieneke would single to put 2 Buttermakers on base.  Nate Wieneke would be brought in to pinch run for Carlson.  Derek Lieser would lace a single to center field.  Nate Wieneke was waived in and beat the throw to the plate as the ball bounded by the catcher allowing both runners moved up to 2nd and 3rd.  Chris Halbur would then hit a slow ground ball out as Eric Wieneke came home.  Derek Platt would then foul out to end the inning and Hadley’s scoring with Hadley now down 7-4.

Christopher would hold Buckman to one hit in each inning 7-9 and off the board. The game would move into the 9th with one last chance for Hadley to work a comeback.  Things did not look favorable for Hadley as Buckman recorded 2 quick outs.  Down to their last out, Hadley was able to turn the lineup over to bring up the top of the order.  Joe Larson would reach base after getting hit by a pitch.  Nick Bruning would then work out a walk to bring hot hitter, Blake Rogers to the plate as the tying run.  Blake Rogers would hit a single to score Larson from 2nd and keep the game alive with Max Zwart coming to bat.  Down to his last strike, Max Zwart would send a fly ball to deep right center that looked like it would hit the wall and tie the game.  Unfortunately for Hadley, the Billygoat center fielder was able to run the ball down for the catch to end the Buttermaker comeback attempt and Buttermaker faithful hopes; giving Billygoats the 7-5 victory and ending the Buttermaker’s championship run.

Blake Rogers had a good day at the plate for Hadley as he collected 3 hits for the day with 2 rbis.  Derek Lieser had 2 hits and 1 rbi and Max Zwart and Eric Wieneke had Hadley’s other hits.   Chis Halbur was credited with 1 rbi for Hadley.  Brandon Alfson was charged with the loss.  Brandan recorded 6 strike outs and 2 walks in his 5 innings of work.  Ryan Christopher recorded 7 strike outs and 2 walk in his 4 innings of work.

Final Box Score

                          R   H  E

Hadley               5   7   1

Buckman           7  14  4

The Buttermakers end the season with a record of 23-8.  The Butternakers want to thank all the fans for their support and following over the season.  You are all truly the best baseball fans in the state. The Buttermakers look forward to 2019 in defending their 2018 Region Title and making a return to the State Tournament for a run at the title.  See you next year!