The Lyle/Pacelli Athletics baseball team was looking to move into the Section 1A tournament winners bracket final for the second year in a row Monday as they took on the United South Central Rebels at Riverland Community College, and it was the No. 2 seeded Athletics rallying back from a deficit for the third game in a row in the tournament for a win as they downed the Rebels by the score of 10-6.
USC jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a half-inning against Lyle/Pacelli starter Hunter VaDeer by utilizing four walks, a hit batsman and a passed ball, but they left the bases loaded, and that would become a familiar refrain for the Rebels as although VaDeer walked the bases loaded in both the second and third innings, USC could not capitalize as they did not put a ball in play until center fielder Ethan Elvebak grounded out to short with two outs in the third to end the inning, as the Rebels stranded nine of 15 runners on base total for the game in the first three innings.
Lyle/Pacelli came back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first to time the game at two as with one out, VaDeer singled, then-centerfielder Jake Truckenmiller reached on a fielder’s choice, and second baseman Dane Schara belted a RBI double. The Athletics took the lead for good, it turned out, in the bottom of the second when right fielder Blake Klingfus led off with a walk. Left fielder Trey Anderson then singled and went to second when Rebel second baseman Jackson Spizirri threw wildly to first base, and things went from bad to worse for USC when catcher Johnny Martinez, who was backing up the play, threw off-balance to third base to try to get Klingfus, but the throw sailed down the left field line to score Klingfus and send Anderson down to third. Leadoff hitter Landon Meyer singled with one out, stole second and then with two men out, Hunter VaDeer belted a huge two-RBI single, and Truckenmiller followed wiht a RBI double to make the score 6-2.
LP increased their lead to 7-2 when Blake Klingfus led off the bottom of the third with a triple and scored on a RBI groundout from Trey Anderson, and the Athletics added to their lead in the fifth when, with one out, Klingfus walked and later scored when Jack Klingfus reached first and went to second on a pair of errors committed by Rebel shortstop Mick Bushlak. USC, though, would not go quietly as they put themselves right back in the game in the top of the sixth when Jackson Spizziri walked to start the inning, stole second and scored on a RBI single from third baseman Colton Quade. He stole second and scored on a pair of wild pitches to cut the Lyle/Pacelli lead to 8-4, and a two-out, two-RBI double from Mick Bushlak later cut the Athletics lead to 8-6.
Lyle/Pacelli would rally, though, in the bottom half of the inning when leadoff hitter Hunter VaDeer singled to start the inning, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by Rebel catcher Johnny Martinez to make the score 9-6, and Jake Truckenmiller provided another insurance run by blasting a fastball from releiver Aiden Crabtree over the left field fence for a solo home run for the 10-6 final.
Offensively for Lyle/Pacelli, Truckenmiller helped to lead the way by going 3 for 4 with a RBI double and a triple to go with his solo homer, Landon Meyer was 1 for 3 with a run scored, Hunter VaDeer wound up going 3 for 4 with three singles, two RBI’s and three runs scored, Dane Schara was 1 for 3 with his first inning RBI double, Blake Klingfus was 1 for 1 with a triple, plus he drew three walks and scored three runs, and Trey Anderson went 1 for 3 with a RBI groundout and a run scored.
Jake Truckenmiller came in for VaDeer on the mound in the fourth inning and was credited with the win, as he gave up four runs, all earned, on five hits, striking out three and walking three. Jack Klingfus came in to pitch the seventh inning and threw a scoreless inning in relief, striking out one and hitting a batter.
With the win, their 10th in a row, the Athletics are 17-4 on the season, and for the second year in a row, they will meet the Hayfield Vikings in the Section 1A winners bracket final on Saturday at 12:00 p.m., as the top-seeded and defending Class A champion Vikings blanked Kenyon-Wanamingo 2-0 in the other winners bracket semi-final Monday. You’ll hear the game Saturday on AM 1480 KAUS, with the pre-game show on the air at 11:45 a.m., and first pitch from Dick Seltz Field at 12:00 p.m.