Velva, Surrey grab wins in tight doubleheader
SURREY — Velva and Surrey were set to play two five-inning games on Tuesday evening, but the squads had other ideas.
A three-run sixth inning helped the 39ers earn a 6-4 extra-inning win over the Blue Sox in the first game of the doubleheader. Surrey responded with a 6-1 victory in the nightcap.
The initial contest showcased a seesaw affair. With the score tied at 3-3 in the top of the sixth inning, Tace Pederson stepped up to the plate with a chance to produce.
Earlier in the game, Pederson’s slide into home plate caused his left elbow to bleed profusely. His elbow was wrapped, but the discomfort persisted.
“It was stinging bad,” Pederson said. “It was pretty bad pain.”
Pederson showed his mettle with a two-run single to right field.
“It was a big relief,” he said. “Thank God I got the hit. I was nervous up there.”
Another insurance run off Quintin Peterson’s bat gave the 39ers the breathing room they needed, but the game wasn’t always so comfortable.
Velva held a 3-0 lead after two innings. In the bottom of the second inning, 39ers starting pitcher Luke Zimmer overcame adversity and wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam.
“He’s got great velocity,” Velva head coach Brent Engebretson said. “He even said it. He was like, ‘The curveball felt great.’ He was having trouble finding and being consistent with his fastball.”
Alert plays on the base paths helped the Blue Sox score two runs in the bottom of the third. In the fourth frame, Ryder Holien tied the score at 3-3 with a sharp RBI single up the middle.
In the fifth, both teams threatened with runners in scoring position. No runners came home that inning, but Pederson delivered the go-ahead knock in the sixth.
“It’s all the things you talk about in the cage,” Engebretson said. “Hit it where it’s pitched. He went with a good, hard fastball away. He punched it to the right. Big single for him. It was nice to see. He’s put some good swings on it and not had much luck. It was good to see one drop.”
The Blue Sox drew first blood early in the second contest and added two more runs in the third inning. Coltan Francis ripped a strong base knock to left field, bringing the score to 2-0.
After an error brought home another run, Surrey held a 3-0 lead. Blue Sox starter Denver Buck established a rhythm on the hill.
“I just tried to throw strikes,” he said. “My team did a good job of backing me up. I can’t ask for much more than that. They made plays. We played much better in that second game than that first game. We didn’t have many errors. An all-around good job, I think.”
Dalton Anderson rewarded Buck’s efforts with a three-run big fly to right field in the bottom of the fourth. Velva scored one run early in the fifth, but Surrey held on for the 6-1 win.
“We came out and hit the ball,” Blue Sox head coach Jesse Roberts said. “That’s all we can ask for. You hit the ball and make the team make plays. If they make plays, then it is what it is. We got guys on base and we were aggressive. That helps out our pitchers a lot, too.”
The Blue Sox refocused their efforts and finished the evening with a confident approach.
“I kind of got after them in between games,” Roberts said. “I think that kind of lit a fire under their butts a little bit. We know we’re a good team. We show it every day in our practices. We show it against teams when we actually show up and play.”
Velva will head to Burlington for two games starting at 5 p.m. this evening. Surrey will travel to Crosby for another doubleheader at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.