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Titans battle to the end in season finale

GTRA falls to St. Mary’s of Storm Lake in district play

July 18, 2013
by David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville Daily News

ALTA - Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire gave everything it had against Storm Lake St. Mary's, but came up just a couple plays or a hit short in the 3-2 loss in Class 1A District 2 play on Thursday.

Ethan Petersen led off the bottom of the seventh with a single plus a Panther error to get to second. Two fly outs later, St. Mary's intentionally walked the Titans' top hitter Blaze Alesch. With Kyle Dalen at the plate, a passed ball allowed both runners to move into scoring position.

But after fouling off a couple pitches, Dalen was struck out looking as the Titans' season came to an end.

GTRA had some good defense and pitching throughout the night. The Titans came up with double plays in both the fifth and sixth innings thanks to a couple lineouts and a base runner getting stranded off second base.

St. Mary's scored first with a run in the second inning. Kennedy Drey led off with a single and went to second on an error. Pinch runner Joe Kottke stole third base and scored on a wild pitch.

The Panthers got their second run in the top of the third. Dillan Smith led off with a single, stole second and scored on a single by Joe Sandhoff. After Luke Lenhart laid down the sacrifice bunt, GTRA starter Justin Rodriguez hit Eric Broich with a pitch. But then Sandhoff was picked off trying to steal third and a fly-out kept the damage to one run.

GTRA went to work in the bottom of the third. Petersen led of with a single and both runners were safe when Michael Girres reached on a fielder's choice. A single by Logan Flaharty scored one run, but Girres was caught stranded between second and third on the play for the first out. Alesch followed with a ground-rule double to put runners on second and third. Dalen then delivered an RBI single as the Titans tied the game at 2-2.

The lead didn't last long. Rodriguez struck out the first two batters of the fourth inning and then gave up three straight walks. Sandhoff hit a grounder back to Rodriguez who went home for the out. But the umpire ruled Michael Girres had pulled his foot as the Panthers took a 3-2 lead.

Rodriguez took the loss. He pitched four innings and gave up five hits with five strikeouts, four walks and one hit batter.

Alesch pitched two innings and gave up two hits with one strikeout and one walk. Petersen pitched the final inning and struck out three batters and hit two.

Sandhoff earned the win for Storm Lake St. Mary's. He gave up six hits while striking out eight batters and walking three.

At the plate, Alesch was 2-3 with two doubles. Petersen also was 2-3 while Flaharty was 1-3 and Dalen was 1-4.

The Titans end the season at 12-8 overall. Seniors playing in their final game were Blaze Alesch, Logan Flaharty and Zach Chicoine.



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