Mustangs maintain momentum, top Max-Garrison

SURREY – This spring, Region 6 has proven to be an unpredictable, competitive league.

With each game having significance in the region standings, every team must take advantage of its opportunities.

The Surrey-Our Redeemer’s baseball team did just that Thursday afternoon.

The Mustangs rallied with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, topping Max-Garrison 6-4 to maintain their place atop the region standings.

“I thought we pitched well,” Surrey-Our Redeemer’s coach Bruce Mack said. “I thought John (Reiten) pitched a great game, but defensively we hurt ourselves. We gave away too many outs, and we have been doing that all season, but we were able to come back and score some runs.”

The Cossacks (1-3 region) opened the scoring in the third inning. Max-Garrison’s Noah Sloka hit two-out ground ball to Surrey-Our Redeemer’s second baseman Ryder Holien, who turned to make a force out at second. But Holien’s throw sailed past shortstop Chase Hiller and into left field, allowing junior Collin O’Grady and senior Casey Kramer to come around to score.

The Mustangs came back to tie in their half of the same inning.

Junior Brayden Lee hit a two-out single to left, scoring Holien and sophomore Jayden Wetzel to make it 2-2.

The game remained tied into the sixth inning, when Cossacks struck for two more. Sloka reached base on a one-out single, and was brought in to score by Sam Larson’s RBI double. Larson later scored on a wild pitch, as Max-Garrison seized a late 4-2 lead.

“We gave up a few runs and that happens,” said Reiten, who was making his first start of the season, “but that happens and I can’t get mad about that.”

Reiten was bailed out by his team in the bottom of the sixth.

Senior Seth Aberle opened the four-run inning with an RBI single, and Wetzel added a second, game-tying run with a sacrifice fly. The Mustangs’ other two runs were scored on the back of four Max-Garrison errors.

Max-Garrison coach Jade Larson said inexperience caught up to his team.

“Nerves affected a little bit,” he said. “We’ve had a few games where we’ve fallen apart.”

Reiten pitched six innings for Surrey-Our Redeemer’s, allowing four runs on six runs while striking out seven. He struck out the side in both the third and fifth innings.

“I feel like I threw really well,” Reiten said. “My pitches were working really well. … It was a fun time for me to get the nod. I thought Seth (Aberle) and I worked well together.”

Said Mack: “John threw real well, but we didn’t help him in the field.”

Senior Ty Zacharias was the tough-luck loser for Max-Garrison. He pitched six innings, giving up six runs – three earned – on five hits while striking out two.

“We have to keep working at it,” Larson said. “We got a couple of young kids. But like I said, we have to get our bats going a little more and that will help us in the field.”

Both teams return to action Tuesday, as Surrey-Our Redeemer’s hosts Bishop Ryan and Max-Garrison welcomes Central McLean.

Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @hoopsfan27_MDN.