Another rally — The streak goes on!
"They just don't give up," smiled Minneota baseball Coach Keven Larson.
His team came back from a 4-0 deficit to defeat Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, 8-4 and run their "start of the season" record to 6-0.
Some of the credit has to do with Austin DeVlaeminck's choice of bats.
He struck out in the first inning, then abandoned that bat.
"I switched bats after that first at bat," the Minneota catcher said. "The grip was different," he said. He admitted he was, "Nervous when he led off the game for the Vikings.
But after that he slammed three straight singles, knocked in two runs and was a big part of the seven-run rally in the fourth inning that turned the tide toward Minneota.
Was it the bat?
"I don't know," smiled DeVlaeminck.
Whatever it was, the Vikings went on a six-hit, seven-run purge that forced TMB starter Ryley Fogelson off the mound and sent Luc Gervais on in relief.
Brock Fox got a chance to start on the mound for the first time since he rehabilitated a shoulder he hurt in football as a junior. He pitched into the third inning and was relieved by another former shoulder re-coupee, Alex Pohlen. He got the team into the fifth before Preston Nuy came on to quell a fifth-inning rally. He pitched the rest of the way.
The three Minneota hurlers gave up eight hits and fanned five batters.
"That was about the way we planned it. We wanted Fox to go two or three innings and get a feel for it and Pohlen to do the same. And that's about what they did," said Coach Larson.
Pohlen had a pair of hits and knocked in two runs and Thomas Hennen emerged like a butterfly from a coccoon and banged out a double and single and scored two runs.
He ended a slump that has plagued him all season long.
"It felt great. "Coach Larson has been good to encourage me. It was good to see the ball," the shortstop said.
Suddenly, he was seeing it, and hitting it.
He feels the problem is, "It gets into my head and I think about it too much. I just tried to adjust," he said.
Looking at the big picture, Hennen likes where the team is at. "We're still headed in that undefeated direction," he smiled.
Minneota will host a three-team tournament on Saturday. Minneota opens at 10 a.m. playing Wabasso, followed by Wabasso vs. Edgerton, then Minneota vs. Edgerton.