SLEEPY EYE - Make no mistake about it, the four-game stretch that the Sleepy Eye Legion baseball team went through during the Upper Midwest Classic will be the toughest four-game stretch the team sees all year.
And it's not even going to be close.
Sleepy Eye ran into Eastview and Brandon, South Dakota on Saturday and found itself down early in both games. That led to some frustration for Sleepy Eye and two more losses. Sleepy Eye finished the tournament 0-4 after a 9-0 loss to Eastview and a 12-2, six-inning loss to Brandon.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
Eastview’s Brennan EspindaBanick connects with a pitch as Sleepy Eye catcher Josh Kopacek looks on during Eastviews’ Upper Midwest Classic win Saturday in Sleepy Eye.
"Four games in a row now we've had to battle back with some pretty big deficits and that takes a lot out of you," Sleepy Eye coach Alan Woitas said. "Mentally it's kind of draining too when you're looking at the scoreboard and you're down five or six runs. But up until this last game, I thought we did a nice job of competing and trying to make a push at the end of the game."
In the first game against Eastview, Sean Mathiowetz got the start and took the loss. In the second game, Brandon jumped out to a 5-0 lead early on against starting pitcher Josh Kopacek and didn't look back.
Of course, it didn't help that Sleepy Eye committed four errors in that game. On a positive note, Sleepy Eye gets to put the tough weekend behind it now and get ready for Monday with a league game against New Ulm Gold.
"When you drop four [games] in a weekend, that's kind of tough, so it's probably nice for some of these kids to take a day and a half and get ready for Monday, because Monday will be a big game," Woitas said.
Against Brandon, Joe Meyer provided a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning for Sleepy Eye's second run and Mitch Neid scored the first run after Kyle Krzmarzick drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the third. Jordan Anderson had two hits for Sleepy Eye to lead the way offensively.
Kopacek pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up 10 runs and six hits. He walked three and struck out two.
Dylan Rock scored three runs for Brandon and Jacob Adams hit a three-run home run in the third inning to make it 4-0 early on.
Sleepy Eye (3-7) plays Gold at 8 p.m. Monday at Mueller Park.