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Rebels Hold Off Eagles

The MCC baseball team traveled to Jackson to take on the Eagles of Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian on Tuesday, May 28th. The Eagles and Rebels, who both went 1-1 on Saturday, June 25th, were facing elimination in the loser’s bracket. The Rebels lost to the Vikings of Minneota, while the Eagles fell to the Dragons of Adrian. Edgerton/Southwest Minnesota Christian swept the season series, winning 5-3 and 9-8 on May 7th in a doubleheader in Edgerton.

In the top of the first inning, the Rebels would come to bat as the visitors. Senior Nate Everson would lead off the game with a walk. Everson would steal second base before advancing to third base on a wild pitch and scoring on another wild pitch, giving MCC a 1-0 lead without an out being recorded. Senior’s Spencer Wajer, Danny Blankenship, and Justin Benda would be unable to reach base safely, moving the game to the bottom of the first. MCC would send junior righthander Drew Coulter to the mound. Coulter would issue a one-out walk before retiring the three and four hitters, sending the Eagles down quietly.

In the top of the second inning, junior Kyler Deacon would ground out before senior Matt Woldt would lace a single to the outfield. Junior Trevor Ackerman and senior Cameron Kresko would both strikeout to end the inning. In the bottom of the second inning, Coulter would walk the leadoff hitter before striking out his first Eagle hitter of the game. A fly-out for out number two would be followed with a hit-by-pitch, putting runners on first and second. With a 1-1 count, Blankenship would nab the runner on first base with a pickoff throw from his catcher position, ending the Eagle scoring threat and sending the game to the third inning.

In the top of the third, a Drew Coulter walk would be followed by an Everson pop-out, a Wajer strikeout, and a pop-out from Blankenship to keep the Rebels scoreless in the frame. In the bottom of the third, Coulter would allow two consecutive singles to start the inning. After two consecutive infield pop-outs, Coulter would hit his second batter of the game, loading the bases for the Eagles. With the Eagles knocking on the door, Coulter would get his second strikeout of the game on a 2-2 count, keeping the score at 1-0 in favor of MCC.

In the top of the fourth inning, Benda would lead off with a double down the left field line. Benda would advance to third on a Deacon sacrifice bunt. With Woldt up with one out and Benda on third base, Woldt would strikeout but the pitch would be dropped by the catcher and roll to the backstop. Benda would break for home and score (2-0), with the throw from the Eagle catcher back to the pitcher covering home not in time. Woldt, alert that first base was unoccupied and allowing him to run to first on a dropped third strike, would hustle down to first base and would reach base safely. A walk by Ackerman would put runners on first and second. Sophomore Dylan Johnson would pinch run for Woldt at second. With fellow sophomore Blake Schmitz up to bat, Schmitz would line out to shortstop for the second out of the inning. Coulter would help his own cause, lacing a single to right field scoring Johnson from second and allowing Ackerman to advance to third and Coulter to second on the throw home, giving MCC the 3-0 lead. Unfortunately, both runners would be stranded as Everson would strikeout to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, a slow ground ball to Everson would be thrown wide to Cameron Boerboom at first, allowing the leadoff hitter to reach safely. Coulter would hit the next two batters, ending his pitching duties for the day. With the bases loaded, Wajer would replace Coulter on the mound and promptly get a strikeout for out number one. Wajer would induce a groundball back to himself, who would throw home to Blankenship for out number two. With the bases still loaded, Wajer would hit the fifth Eagle hitter of the game, giving the Eagles their first run of the game. Still clinging to a 3-1 lead, Blankenship would throw out his second runner of the game, picking off a runner at first base to end the scoring threat and keeping MCC up 3-1 after four innings of play. 

In the top of the fifth inning, Benda would reach base safely via an error by the Eagle first baseman. Deacon would hit a groundball that would sneak under the third baseman’s glove, putting Benda at second. Benda and Deacon would both advance bases on a wild pitch, putting both runners in scoring position. Unfortunately, Woldt would strike out to end the inning and the scoring threat for the Rebels. In the bottom of the fifth, Wajer would have an easy inning, sending the Eagles down in order. 

In the top of the sixth, all three Rebel hitters would strike out to keep the score at 3-1. In the bottom half of the inning, Wajer would issue a one out walk before getting a strikeout for the second out of the inning. On a 1-2 count, Wajer would hang a curveball that would be smacked down the left field line for a double, putting Eagle runners on second and third. However, Wajer would battle his way out of the inning, striking out his second batter of the inning to keep the score at 3-1 in favor of MCC.

In the top of the seventh, MCC would look for some insurance runs, and fortunately they were able to find them. With one out, Wajer would reach base via an error. After stealing second base, Blankenship would line out to centerfield for the second out of the inning. Luckily for the Rebels, Benda would lace a single to score Wajer and would advance to second on an error by the right fielder. Deacon would follow Benda’s hit with a single of his own, scoring Benda from second and making it 5-1 in favor of MCC. Deacon would steal second before Woldt would walk to put runners on first and second. Ackerman would leave both runners stranded as he would strike out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh and down to their final three outs, the Eagles would find a way to make things interesting. Wajer would get a fly out for the first out of the inning. The next batter would walk before Wajer would allow two consecutive singles to load the bases. A passed ball would score one before a walk would once again load the bases with one out and the score 5-2. Another passed ball would make it 5-3 with runners at second and third with still only one out. A big strikeout by Wajer would give the Rebels two outs, needing one more out for victory. A hard groundball up the middle would be stopped by Wajer’s ankle, with Wajer alertly picking up the ball and tossing it over to Boerboom at first, giving the Rebels the 21st out of the game and a 5-3 elimination game victory.

With the win, the Rebels improved to 9-10 on the year. Coulter, who pitched three innings on the day, picked up the pitching win while Wajer (4 IP) picked up the save. Benda led the way offensively with two hits, while Deacon, Woldt, and Coulter were the other Rebels contributing a hit on the day. MCC advances to play Lac Qui Parle Valley on Thursday, May 30th in Milroy. 


MCC Falters; Season Ends

The MCC baseball team traveled to Milroy on Thursday, May 30th to take on the Eagles of Lac Qui Parle Valley. The match-up featured teams that were both 2-1 in the playoffs and were facing elimination. The Rebels would battle back from an early deficit and would keep things close in the first half of the game before LQPV would pull away late, winning 9-2 and sending the Rebels home with a loss to end their season.

In the top of the first, Nate Everson would head to the mound for the Rebels. A leadoff single was followed by a ground-out, advancing the runner to second. Another single would give LQPV a quick 1-0 lead. After another ground-out for out number two, a weak ground ball was misplayed by the Rebels to give the Eagles another run, quickly moving the score to 2-0. Everson would issue a walk to put runners at first and second before getting a strikeout to end the threat. 

In the bottom of the first, the Rebels would strike back, with a two-out walk by Danny Blankenship followed by a double by Justin Benda to score Blankenship from first. Kyler Deacon would be hit by pitch to put multiple runners on, but Matt Woldt would be unable to move Benda or Deacon around, popping out to end the inning.

In the top of the second inning, Everson would allow a harmless two-out single, retiring the next batter and keeping the score at 2-1 in favor of the visitor Eagles. In the bottom half of the frame, the Rebels would use some small ball, with Blake Schmitz singling with one out before advancing to second on a nice sacrifice bunt by Cameron Kresko. A clutch two-out single by Everson would bring Schmitz around from second, tying the game at 2-2. Everson, who advanced to second on the throw home, would be left stranded as Spencer Wajer would fly out to left field to end the inning.

In the top of the third, Everson would allow a leadoff single before getting a ground-out for the first out of the inning. Two more consecutive singles would give the Eagles the lead again, 3-2. A fielder’s choice and strikeout would keep the damage to a minimum. In the bottom of the third, the Rebels would go down quietly in order.

In the top of the fourth inning, Everson would get a ground-out before allowing a single and another runner reaching base via error. Another single would make it 4-2 with runners on first and third and still only one out. A pitching change would bring Deacon onto the mound. Deacon, a lefthander, would pickoff the runner at first base who broke for second. Cameron Boerboom, the first baseman, would alertly pump fake and catch the runner at third trying to break for home. Boerboom would run the runner back to third base, throwing to Wajer who would tag the runner trying to get back to third, as well as the runner from first who was also trying to advance to third, ending the inning without any further damage and keeping the score at 4-2.

In the bottom of the fourth, Woldt would single down the right field line to lead off the inning. A long fly ball by Drew Coulter to centerfield would be followed by a Schmitz hit-by-pitch to put runners on first and second. A wild pitch would allow both runners to advance. With runners at second and third, Kresko and Everson would both strike out to leave the Rebels empty-handed.

In the top of the fifth inning, Deacon would strike out the first two hitters of the inning. After hitting the next batter, Deacon would allow a lazy infield single before the Eagle’s 8-hitter would smack a long two-run double to the left field fence, giving LQPV a 6-2 lead. A ground-out would end the top half of the 5th. The Rebels would once again threaten in the bottom half, with Blankenship and Benda reaching base safely via a walk and error with one out. A ground-out would advance both runners to second and third before Woldt would strike out to end the Rebel’s scoring threat.

In the top of the sixth inning, Deacon would issue a leadoff walk before getting a ground-out for the first out. Two more consecutive walks would load the bases. A ball in the dirt would scoot by Blankenship, but hustle by both Blankenship and Deacon would nab the runner at the plate, giving MCC two outs. Unfortunately, a fly ball to shallow right field would land between three Rebel defenders who failed to communicate, scoring the Eagle runners from second and third and making it 8-2. After another walk, Boerboom would replace Deacon on the mound. After hitting a batter to load the bases, Boerboom would induce a weak fly ball to Everson at short, ending the inning. In the bottom half, all three Rebel hitters would strike out to keep the score at 8-2.

Two consecutive walks to open the top of the seventh would bring about another pitching change, bringing Woldt to the mound. A strikeout and a popout would give the Rebels two quick outs with multiple runners on. A wild pitch would score one Eagle, and another wild pitch would bring a potential runner home, but Blankenship was able to retrieve the ball and tag the advancing runner at the plate, ending the top half of the 7th with the score 9-2.

Down to their final three outs, the first two Rebel hitters would strike out before Blankenship and Benda would walk. Deacon would single to load the bases before Woldt would hit a high fly ball straight up, with the catcher tumbling over and catching the final out of the game.

With the loss, the Rebels record ended at 9-11 on the season. Everson (1 RBI), Benda (double, RBI), Deacon, Woldt, and Schmitz all contributed a hit on the day.

The MCC baseball program would like to thank all eight seniors for their contributions to the program over the years. This year’s seniors include Justin Benda, Danny Blankenship, Cameron Boerboom, Nate Everson, Cameron Kresko, Spencer Wajer, Matt Woldt, and Mason Woldt.