Thompson outlasts Sacred Heart 5-0 to close regular season play
Tommies score four runs on Eagle errors
EAST GRAND FORKS – A four-inning feeling out process was broken by timely hustle plays on the basepath from Thompson on Tuesday in a 5-0 win over Sacred Heart at Stauss Park. It marks nine wins in a row for the Tommies and is their sixth shutout win of the year.
Before the fourth inning, the Eagles outhit the Tommies thanks to two singles from Parker Erickson and David Larson. Many Thompson efforts at the plate were hauled in by first baseman Elliot Arntson in foul territory.
“That was a really good pitcher, sometimes you have to battle and find a way to get runs and we were able to do that,” Thompson coach Nate Soulis said.
Three key runs off errors would be the difference. In the fourth, Thomas Schumacher started the inning off with a hard-hit double and would reach third on a passed ball. With two outs, Drew Overby put one in play to second that wasn’t fielded cleanly and opened the scoring.
“Against a good team like that you have to take advantage of their mistakes, and we did a good job of being aggressive on the bases and finding runs when we could,” Soulis said.
The big play on the basepath came in sixth inning. Holding that 1-0 lead and with runners on first and second, Jon Muhs popped into an infield fly rule situation. What looked to be a step closer to the next ups for Sacred Heart with a chance to answer in a one-score game was turned on its head when the ball dropped and went untouched long enough for Brody Gibson to make his way from second to home with the help of a throwing error to third.
Another two runners scored when Brayden Wolfgram grounded a ball to short. Two errant throws scored two more runners and padded the lead to 4-0.
“It was all about putting the ball in play,” Wolfgram said. “It is a tough field to play on with some tough hops. We just needed to force them to make a play. We stayed aggressive on the basepath and kept going.”
After one time through the order for Braden Tyce, Wolfgram made his mark on the mound as well, picking up six strikeouts in 4.33 innings of work. His defense behind him finished without any blemishes and forced four men left on base for the Eagles.
“Our pitching has been there throughout the whole year and the bats and defense have slowly caught up. A lot of the times early on we didn’t get that third out and there are 15 extra pitches that need to be thrown,” said Soulis.
Heading into the North Dakota Region 2 tournament, the Tommies are working well on all levels just in time. Round one is set for Saturday, when they will play the winner of Hatton/Northwood and Larimore.
“The experience has built for a lot of these kids. They are good players and they have put the time in. If you put the time in and you are confident in your abilities that is where the success comes from. We have done a really good job of finding ways to win baseball games. It might not be the prettiest but that doesn’t matter,” Soulis said.