Surrey baseball sweeps two one-run games from Burlington
SURREY — Smacked high and deep into left field, Jaxon Feller wished for a slow jog around all the bases and a team huddle at home plate. Instead, the ball bounced in front of the fence.
“Some guys were giving him crap about how it was short of a home run,” Surrey Blue Sox head coach Jesse Roberts said. “But, hey, he hit the ball and got the winning run in. That’s all that matters to me.”
The game-winning RBI double lifted Surrey to a 3-2 extra-innings win over the Bullington Bulldogs in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday evening in Surrey.
Surrey also won the first game by a single run, 2-1.
“It was two competitive games,” Burlington head coach Matt Koronka said. “I think Collin Headrick in the first game did a really nice job. He is a really good pitcher. He mixed pitches and kept our guys off balance. We really didn’t have any solid contact.”
In the first contest, all three runs were scored in the first inning.
Following an early walk and an error in the infield that extended the top of the inning, Burlington’s Will Pearson sprinted home on a wild pitch to give Burlington a 1-0 lead despite Surrey pitcher Headrick recording three strikeouts in the opening frame.
Surrey countered in the bottom half with an RBI double by Dalton Anderson and a run-scoring wild pitch to go up 2-1.
Both offenses then went utterly silent.
“We talked to them about staying aggressive the whole game,” Roberts said. “We started the first game really strong, and got a couple of runs right away. Then, it kind of dwindled away. But we managed to keep the lead, and that’s the important thing.”
Burlington’s Dante Gunville was left stranded on second base following a leadoff double in the sixth inning. That was the last knock in the contest, which only featured five combined hits and two errors.
Both Headrick and Burlington starting pitcher Aiden Ladd went the distance. Out of the 10 different Bulldog batters that faced Headrick, nine of them struck out at least once. Headrick finished with 12 punchouts in seven innings of work.
“Our pitchers threw strikes, obviously,” Feller said. “Then, we just made plays. Low scoring because we struggled to hit a little bit or find gaps.”
A two-out infield single by Toby Zietz had the Bulldogs leading 1-0 once again in Game 2. Ladd doubled up the advantage with an RBI triple in the third inning for Burlington.
Surrey got one of those runs back in the bottom of the third inning with Anderson splitting the outfielders in left-center field for an RBI double.
After the Bulldogs failed to capitalize on a couple of scoring opportunities, the Blue Sox managed to keep a five-inning game going an extra frame. Anderson jumped out of the way of a wild pitch in the bottom of the fifth to allow Wyatt Fimreite to score the game-tying run from third base.
Like they did back in the fourth inning, Burlington left the bases loaded again in the top of the sixth inning.
“We had our chances,” Koronka said. “We also had the right guy at the plate in Ladd, the heart of our lineup. So, what do you do? He didn’t barrel up like he did previously in the game. It’s just one of those spots where I’m OK living and dying with him up there. He is our guy. He will get it next time.”
Surrey refused to play another inning. Feller in particular. The Blue Sox No. 9 hitter turned around a pitch from Burlington starting pitcher Zietz to end the game with an RBI double.
“Walking up to the plate, I was just thinking about getting a hit,” Feller said. “Find a way to get someone home and take the game.”
Next up, Surrey will host Garrison at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. Burlington doesn’t get a day off with a home doubleheader against Makoti at 4:30 p.m. this evening.
Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.