Bagnall’s pitching keys Tigers’ comeback win


MATTHEW BAGNALL, Howards Grove junior, winds up for a pitch to a Sheboygan Lutheran batter in Monday’s baseball game. Bagnall earned a 5-3 win. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley MATTHEW BAGNALL, Howards Grove junior, winds up for a pitch to a Sheboygan Lutheran batter in Monday’s baseball game. Bagnall earned a 5-3 win. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley HOWARDS GROVE – Matthew Bagnall battled back from a slow start to pitch the Howards Grove Tigers to a 5-3 comeback win over visiting Sheboygan Lutheran in a Big East Conference baseball game here Monday night.

Bagnall, a junior lefty, gave up three runs in the top of the first inning and then blanked the Crusaders the rest of the way en route to a complete game. He surrendered only three hits after the first inning.

“Matthew sometimes has to get past that first inning. He gets stronger as the game progresses,” said Tiger head coach Mark Weber.

“Because his pitches have good movement, he sometimes needs to settle in and get used to the situations and how the umpire reacts to his pitches. It’s a very common thing among pitchers, especially lefty control guys like Matt.”


MASON VALENSTEIN, Howards Grove second baseman, tosses the ball to first baseman Brad Olson to retire Sheboygan Lutheran’s Kyle Theune on a grounder in Monday’s baseball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley MASON VALENSTEIN, Howards Grove second baseman, tosses the ball to first baseman Brad Olson to retire Sheboygan Lutheran’s Kyle Theune on a grounder in Monday’s baseball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley Bagnall allowed three earned runs on six hits with five walks and six strikeouts.

The Tigers improved their BEC record to 6-10 (6-11 overall). The Crusaders dropped to 4-12 in the league (4-12 overall).

Alex Timm’s two-run double to right-center field gave Lutheran a 2-0 lead. Timm scored on Josiah Boyd’s single which made it 3-0.

The Tigers shaved the deficit to 3-2 with a pair of runs in the second. Nic Koenig cracked a leadoff single and scored when Bagnall reached first on an infield error. Gavin Winter’s single drove in Chase Williams who was courtesy running for Bagnall.

HG tallied three runs in the sixth to go ahead 5-3. Zac Stauss drilled a leadoff triple and scored on Koenig’s ensuing single which knotted the game at 3-3.

Koenig then stole second. With two outs, Winter delivered a single which advanced Koenig to third. Isaac Dirker batted next and advanced to second on an error by the right fielder which brought home Koenig and Winter for a 5-3 HG lead.

The Crusaders threatened in the seventh. Kyle Theune drew a oneout walk and Josh Pingel folowed with a double which advanced Theune to third. Bagnall escaped the jam by striking out the next batter and inducing the following hitter to ground out.

“I was proud of him [Bagnall] and the entire team as we overcame the early deficit and showed some solid hitting. The team is beginning to mature as planned,” said Weber.

“Overall, a positive and good game. Hopefully we can keep it going and peak at the end.”

Koenig and Winter, both freshmen, led HG in hits with two each. Koenig scored a team-high two runs.

Boyd paced Lutheran in hits with two. Timm had a game-high two RBIs.

Justin Landgraf was the losing pitcher, going the distance. Landgraf gave up two earned runs on six hits with one walk, a hit batter and two strikeouts.


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