The Belle Plaine Tigers came out of the gate strong in Sunday’s playoff opener, using a seven-run first inning to overpower Wells in a shortened affair, 14-4.
According to seeding, the only upset in last weekend’s Region 6C Tournament was No. 7 seed Morristown’s 8-3 win over Minnesota Lake, the No. 2 seed from the 13-60 League. There was one near-upset, as No. 6 seed Arlington took a 3-1 lead to the 9th before falling, 4-3, in No. 3 Waterville’s last at-bat.
On Saturday, Aug. 8, at 6 p.m., the RVL’s No. 3-seeded Tigers will host the upset-minded Morries – the team that ended its 2019 campaign with a 2-1 setback at Jordan in last year’s Region 6C Tourney. Last year’s Tigers were denied their 20th win of the season, finishing 19-10; this year’s half-season rendition sits in much the same position, seeking their 10th win (9-5).
Wells 4 @ BP 14
Sunday, Aug. 2 – 7 innings
Brody Curtiss, the bonafide ace of the Tiger staff this season, took the ball from manager Matt Ruehling and posted a quiet first inning. The Tiger bats were anything but in the bottom of the inning, batting around before an out was recorded while hanging a seven-spot on the awestruck visitors. The highlight of the first frame was a 3-run homer from Aiden Ladd, who as the No. 3 hitter also made the last out of the first inning.
A two-out triple scored a pair of runs to put Wells on the board in the third, but the home-half of the stanza witnessed another 3-run tater from Aiden Ladd – this one right inside the left-field foul pole – his second of the day and season. The latter circuit clout extended the Tiger lead to 11-2, allowing the locals to cruise the rest of the way.
Curtiss, who worked five innings and allowed a pair of unearned runs, improved to 3-0 this season with a sparkling 0.68 ERA. He fanned four Wildcats without a walk, while Jared Miller added two more punchouts over his two frames.
Ladd and Jamie O’Brien led the Tiger parade with two hits apiece; seven others contributed one. Aside from Ladd’s six RBI, Curtiss drove in three while Pat Schultz had a pair. The locals were plunked by a pitch eight times, with Tyler O’Brien enduring three beanings. Derek Dahlke and Jonny Vinkemeier were hit twice.