SPRINGFIELD - Springfield moved on to the Region 2C Tournament with a 4-1, Game 3 victory over Essig Tuesday night at Riverside Park in amateur baseball action.
Springfield grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first. Meanwhile, Jason Nachreiner turned in a solid playoff start, as the Tigers took advantage of the Bluejay's defense to pick up a win.
Essig turned to left-hander Sam Hansen as the Game 3 starter. In the bottom of the first, Brandon Wilhelmi drew a walk. Alex Fink followed with a base hit. Wilhelmi scored the game's first run on a Ryan Sturm groundout.
Nachreiner's defense helped him out by turning four double-plays behind him in the first five innings of the ballgame. With the help of the double-plays, Nachreiner never faced more than four batters in any of his seven innings of work.
Hansen worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the second and put up zeros in the third and fourth as well. He ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth. After two were out, he hit Fink and Sturm. The Bluejay defense then let him down on a groundball that would have ended the inning, allowing Fink to score. Ted Mohr took over the mound duties, but a walk and another Essig miscue scored Sturm to give Springfield a 3-0 lead.
Nachreiner hit Eric Hauser with a pitch to start the top of the sixth. A stolen base and a pair of groundouts moved him around the bases to cut the Tiger lead to two.
A pair of walks ended Nachreiner's night in the top of the eighth. Fink took over on the hill. He got a popped up bunt for the first out, but a double play ended the inning.
Two more Bluejay errors allowed the Tigers to add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Fink worked around a couple two-out hits in the ninth to seal the 4-1 victory.
Alex Fink led the Springfield bats with two hits. Jacob Menage, Christian Loomis, Cooper Scheffler, and Zach Bisel all contributed one hit each.
Dusty Fleck led Essig at the plate with two hits on the night.
Nachreiner earned his first win of the season, working seven innings, allowing one run on three hits with one strikeout.
Hansen took the loss, going four and two-thirds innings, giving up three runs, one earned, on four hits. Fink picked up his second save of the season and series, working the final two innings, giving up two hits while striking out two.
The win for the Tigers ends Essig's season. Springfield will add a pair of pitchers via the draft and opens the Region 2C Tournament on Saturday by hosting Leavenworth. The region tournament is a six-team single round-robin tournament. The four teams with the best records will advance to the 2013 State Amateur Tournament.