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Beetles baseball: Alexandria grabs pair of walk-off wins

St. Cloud State lefty Shawn Riesgraf threw on June 24 against the St. Cloud Rox. (Echo Press photo by Eric Morken)

The Alexandria Beetles walked off winners on consecutive nights last week with 14-13 and 4-3 wins over Thunder Bay.

The Beetles made things difficult on themselves last Thursday night with six errors, but they overcame that by pounding out 15 hits. They forced extra innings by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

They needed two more in the bottom of the 10th to get the win. Josh Guerra and Dylan Raper were in scoring position when Josh Carpenter came to the plate with one out. The North Alabama product delivered in the clutch, sending a single through the right side of the infield that scored both runs to send his team home a winner.

It was Carpenter's third hit of the night. Tanner Vavra and Matt Beaty also had three hits apiece for an offense that used a seven-run fifth inning to erase what had been a 6-1 deficit. The Beetles added two runs apiece in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings to complete the comeback.

That made a winner out of Alex Guilford for the second straight night. The lefty from Montevallo was the fifth pitcher used in the game by Alexandria. He walked two in his inning of work but struck out two as well, while lowering his ERA to 1.76.

The walkoff win the night before was much more conventional as Alexandria used eight strong innings from Jon Reed before winning it in the bottom of the 10th. Reed made his third start of the summer and perhaps his best one as he allowed just one run on four hits. He walked just one and struck out six.

Reed did not factor in the decision after the Border Cats rallied for two runs in the ninth off all-star reliever Anthony Bazzani. Bazzani allowed five hits and two walks in 1-1/3 innings. He was relieved by Guilford in the 10th, who got the final two outs to preserve a 3-3 tie.

That set the stage for a game-winning rally in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Ben Moore doubled to left field to put a runner in scoring position for Jimmy Pickens. That is the guy Alexandria wants up in that situation as he delivered his third hit of the night with a single to right field that brought in the winning run.

Tanner Vavra, Raper and Moore all added two hits apiece as the Beetles finished with 13 hits overall. Vavra and Pickens have been hitting the ball all over the field as Vavra upped his average to .411 last week and Pickens saw his reach .372.

The Beetles will celebrate July 4 with a home game against Willmar at 3:05 p.m. They will then be back at home on Thursday night before going to St. Cloud on Friday. Both those games are scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m.

Earlier results

Alexandria was rocked by Rochester Monday and Tuesday, falling 10-5 and 11-1 to the Honkers, who stand in the middle of the pack in the North Division.

Alexandria pitchers gave up a total of 19 hits between the two games.


THUNDER BAY 033 002 130 1 - 13 8 1

ALEXANDRIA 100 070 022 2 - 14 15 6

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Ali Simpson - 3IP, 4H, 6R, 3ER, 2BB, 2SO; Andrew Busby - 3IP, 1H, 2R, 0ER, 1BB, 2SO; Nick Berhel - 1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 1SO; Caleb DeLee - 2IP, 2H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 1SO; Guilford - W, 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 2SO

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Vavra - 3-5, 2 2B, 2 runs, RBI; Johnny Tolson - 1-5, HP, 1 run, RBI; Moore - 0-4, 2 BB, 2 runs, RBI; Pickens - 2-5, 2B, BB, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Beaty - 3-6, 1 run, 2 RBI; Guerra - 0-3, 3 BB, 1 run; Ryan Padilla - 0-3, RBI; Raper - 1-2, 1 run; Musgrove - 2-3, 2 BB, 2 runs, RBI; Carpenter - 3-6, 2 runs, 2 RBI

THUNDER BAY 000 000 012 0 - 3 9 2

ALEXANDRIA 021 000 000 1 - 4 13 1

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - J. Reed - 8IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 6SO; Bazzani - 1 1/3IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 2SO

ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Vavra - 2-5, 1 run; Raper - 2-4, BB; Tolson - 0-3, BB, RBI; Moore - 2-5, 2B, 1 run; Pickens - 3-5, 2 2B, 1 run, RBI; Beaty - 1-4, 2B, 1 run, RBI; Padilla - 1-4; Musgrove - 1-4; Carpenter - 1-4

ALEXANDRIA 100 101 002 5-10-0

ROCHESTER 030 001 33X 10-10-0

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Sanders 4IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 4BB, 2SO; Babb (L) 2IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 2SO; DeLee 1IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB; Busby 1IP, 2H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 2SO.

ALEXANDRIA HITTING - Vavra 2-4, 1SO; Tolson 2-2, 2R, 1RBI, 1BB; Padilla 1R, 2BB, 1SO; Moore 1-3, 1R, 2RBI, 1BB, 1SO; Pickens 2-5, 1R, 1RBI, 1SO; Guerra 2-5, 1RBI, 1SO; Beaty 1BB; Musgrove1-3, 1 BB.

ALEXANDRIA 000 100 000 1-2-8

ROCHESTER 060 012 20X 11-9-1

ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Steve Weber 4IP, 5H, 6R, 1ER, 5BB, 1SO; Rene Martinez 4IP, 4H, 5R, 1ER, 2BB, 3SO.

ALEXANDRIA HITTING - Pickens 1-4, 1SO; Carpenter 1BB, 1SO; Musgrove 2BB, 1SO; Moore 1R; Guerra 3SO; Raper 1-4, 1RBI, 2SO; Padilla 1BB, 1SO; Tolson 2SO; Bazzani 1SO; Reed 1SO.