Giefer, Chargers defuse Bucs in Division 2AA baseball matchup | News, Sports, Jobs

RACE TO FIRST – Blue Earth Area pitcher Anthony Carr (33) catches a flip from Bucs first baseman Nick Barke (center) before beating Minnesota Valley Lutheran hitter Cole Thompson to first base for a opener during Thursday’s Division 2AA baseball elimination game at Veterans Field in Blue Earth. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

BLUE EARTH — The Minnesota Valley Lutheran baseball team entered Veterans Field in Blue Earth on Thursday and won one for the Giefer — Chargers starting pitcher Josh Giefer, that is.

Giefer, a senior right-hander, shot a complete three-hit shutout and delivered a two-run offensive pivot double for Engineer MVL’s 4-0 win over the Blue Earth Area Bucs in an elimination game from Section 2AA to Blue Earth.

The Chargers, who improved to 10-11 overall, advance to face Belle Plaine in a playoff game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Walsh Field in Gaylord. New Ulm edged Belle Plaine in an unbeaten match, 6-5, on Thursday.

Blue Earth Area closed its season with an overall record of 9-10.

MVL assistant coach Jeff Schoenherr spoke about the Chargers’ ability to play ‘small ball’ in a pregame chat, and the No. 10 seed used that strategy to his advantage to take a 1-0 lead early in the second set.

Zach Riederer fielded a first single to left field from Blue Earth Area starting pitcher Anthony Carr before MVL hit twice to fabricate a solo run in the second.

Kaiden Hammerschmidt dropped a bunt to move Riederer to second base before Garrett Parker was hit by a pitch. Both Charger runners got up 90 feet on wild terrain before Reed Selvey executed a perfect suicidal bunt to tackle Riederer to go ahead 1-0.

Still trailing by one, the Bucs received an offensive boost from Parker Meyers, who drilled a starting triple into the corner of right field in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Giefer picked it off to thwart the threat .

The Chargers then incorporated two walks into their small-ball strategy to produce three key runs early in the fifth inning.

Kaden Peterson walked one with one out before taking second base on a sacrificial bunt by Brennan Bendix. Cole Thompson walked in before Luke Thompson threw a slow roll downfield, the ensuing pitch sailing high to allow Peterson to cross the plate for a 2-0 lead.

Giefer then helped his own cause by tossing a fly ball that drifted out of reach of the BEA outfielders into the right center gap for a two-run brace and a 4-0 lead.

The Bucs, however, assembled a late comeback bid in the last of the sixth inning by loading the bases without the benefit of a hit. Logan O’Hara reached on a one-out error, Meyers tied and Nick Barke was hit by a pitch from Giefer, but the MVL right-hander walked away unscathed. Giefer used his curveball to take out back-to-back Buc hitters who were looking to fend off the home side empty-handed.

Soren Fering and O’Hara each collected singles for the Bucs to go along with Meyers’ triple. Luke Thompson went 2-for-3 to outrun the Chargers’ four-hit effort.

Carr allowed four runs — just one earned — on four hits, walked four and hit a batter going the distance to receive the loss.

MLV 010 030 0 – 4 4 1

BEA 000 000 0 — 0 3 1

Josh Giefer (WP) and Kaden Peterson. Anthony Carr (LP) and Carson Sturtz.

LOB–Blue Earth Area 8, Minnesota Valley Lutheran 5. 2B–Josh Giefer (MVL). 3B–Parker Meyers (BEA). SAC–Kaiden Hammerschmidt (MVL), Reed Selvey (MVL) and Brennan Bendix (MVL).

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