Beetles baseball: Alexandria wins pair of games on walk-off hits
Three of Alexandria's four games over the weekend were won on a walk-off, with two of those going the Beetles' way as the team won three of its four contests, including a three-game sweep of Mankato.
After the dust settled, the Beetles found themselves just two games out of first behind the Willmar Stingers in the second half of the Northwoods League North Division standings.
Willmar had an 18-10 record, while Alexandria sat at 16-12, and the St. Cloud Rox were 16-13 after Sunday night.
The Beetles close out the regular season with a two-game road trip to Duluth.
ST. CLOUD 5,
The first of three walk-off games for Alexandria went against the Beetles as Nick Tanielu of the Rox poked a game-winning single for St. Cloud Wednesday.
The Beetles had rallied in the top of the ninth to score three runs after trailing 4-1, tying the game.
It was a rare exception to the rule for Anthony Bazzani, Alexandria's lights-out closer, who dropped just his first game of the year in relief of Steve Weber.
Bazzani pitched just one-third of an inning, striking out the first batter he faced, then giving up a walk. A single by Boo Vazquez moved the winning run to third before Tanielu slapped his RBI single.
Steve Weber did a stellar job on the mound for Alexandria in his start, giving up just three runs and striking out seven.
Ben Moore went 3-for-5 at the plate for the Beetles, rapping a double and a triple to drive in a pair of runs, while Tanner Vavra and Josh Guerra each had a pair of hits.
ALEXANDRIA 12-5, MANKATO 11-2
After Friday's game was postponed due to weather, the Beetles took on Mankato in a doubleheader, winning both games.
Friday's game ended in the bottom of the fourth with Mankato leading 5-4, which was where the game resumed on Saturday.
This game, another walk-off finish, went to the Beetles as Matt Lowestein singled home Blake Barrow for the win in the bottom of the ninth.
Lowenstein, who scored two runs and drove in another in the game, reached base four times for Alexandria.
Anthony Bazzani improved to 2-1 for the year as he picked up the win in relief of Nick Maiers. Ali Simpson got the start, and was lifted after four innings in favor of Corey Fitzgerald, who went another four frames.
Game two saw Alexandria manufacture five runs on four hits as they toppled the MoonDogs 5-2.
Ryan Padilla had four runs batted in for the Beetles on two hits, both doubles.
ALEXANDRIA 13, MANKATO 12
Tanner Vavra gave Alexandria another walk-off win, singling in the ninth to bring home Robert Case for the winning run.
Vavra had a pair of hits, both driving in runs.
The two teams tallied 25 total runs and 26 hits in this game, as neither team found a pitcher that could hold down the offenses.
Both squads were able to put together seven runs in the sixth inning. Josh Carpenter had one of his four hits in that frame, a double that scored Dallas Hannah.
Ben Moore and Mike Morman had three hits in the game, while Matt Lowenstein and Vavra had two each.
Alex Guilford earned the win in relief, pitching the final three innings of the game, allowing just one earned run on two hits and striking out one.
ALEXANDRIA 001 000 003 4-10-2
ST. CLOUD 001 001 111 5-15-1
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so)- Stephen Weber 6.1-8-3-3-1-7; Alex Guilford 1.2-5-1-1-0-3; Anthony Bazzani (L) 0.1-2-1-1-1-1.
ALEXANDRIA HITTING - Matt Lowestein 1-3, 1 run, 1 bb; Tanner Vavra 2-4, 1 run, 1 rbi; Ben Moore 3-5, 2b, 3b, 2 rbi; Mike Morman 1 rbi, 1 bb; John Loeffler 1-3, 1 run, 1 bb; Josh Guerra 2-3, 3b; Josh Carpenter 1-4, 1 run.
MANKATO 010 100 0 2-8-4
ALEXANDRIA 103 100 X 5-4-2
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Jon Reed (W) 6-7-2-1-2-5; Anthony Bazzani (S) 1-1-0-0-0-2.
ALEXANDRIA HITTING - Matt Lowenstein 1-2, 2b, 1 run, 1 bb; Tanner Vavra 1-2, 1 run; Ben Moore 1 run; Ryan Padilla 2-3, 2b, 4 rbi; Josh Guerra 1 run; Josh Carpenter 1 run, 1 bb.
MANKATO 100 401 014 11-15-2
ALEXANDRIA 004 020 501 12-14-2
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Ali Simpson 4-7-5-5-1-6; Corey Fitzgerald 4-4-2-1-1-2; Nick Maiers 0.1-3-4-4-1-0; Anthony Bazzani (W) 0.2-1-0-0-2-0.
ALEXANDRIA HITTING - Matt Lowenstein 2-4, 2 runs, 1 rbi, 2 bb; Tanner Vavra 2-4, 2 runs; Ben Moore 2-5, 2b, 2 runs, 1 rbi; Robert Case 1-4, 1 run, 1 rbi, 1 bb; Mike Morman 2-4, 2b, 1 run, 1 rbi, 1 bb; Josh Guerra 1-3, 3b, 1 run, 3 rbi; John Loeffler 1-1, 1 run, 1 bb; Josh Carpenter 1 bb; Blake Barrow 1-5, 2b, 1 run; Dallas Hannah 2-4, 1 run, 1bb.
MANKATO 300 007 110 12-11-4
ALEXANDRIA 120 017 101 13-15-1
ALEXANDRIA PITCHING - Michael Reed 5-6-7-7-6-2; Mitchell Babb 1-3-4-3-2-2; Alex Guilford (W) 3-2-1-1-0-1.
ALEXANDRIA HITTING - Matt Lowenstein 2-4, 2 runs, 1 bb; Tanner Vavra 2-5, 1 run, 2 rbi; Ben Moore 3-5, 1 run, 2 rbi; Ryan Padilla 1 run, 1 bb; Mike Morman 3-5, 1 run, 2 rbi; John Loeffler 2 runs, 1 rbi, 2 bb; Dallas Hannah 1-4, 1 run; Robert Case 1 run, 2 rbi; Josh Carpenter 4-5, 2b, 3 runs, 1 rbi.