Searles Bullheads take 3rd at over 35 state tournament

LE SUEUR/BELLE PLAINE — The Searles Bullheads over 35 men’s amateur baseball team took third place in Class B of the Minnesota Senior Men’s Amateur Baseball Association state tournament an 11-8 win over Clarissa.

The Bullheads had lost the semi-final game on Saturday to Apple Valley by a score of 8-6.

In the third-place game against Clarissa, played Sunday afternoon in Le Sueur, Searles had built an 8-1 lead with two runs in the first, four in the second, and two more in the third. Nate Gusso, Pat Portner, and Corey Schaefer each had a pair of hits in their first two at bats. Clarissa narrowed the lead with a three-run homer in the bottom of the third.

The Bullheads maintained their lead with single runs in the fourth, sixth, and seventh innings, while Classisa added four more runs to make the final score 11-8. Portner and Schaefer each had three hits for the game. For the four-game state tournament, Portner went 10 for 15 (.667) with six RBIs.

Gusso pitched the first four innings and picked up the win for Searles. Myke Hubbard and Jeremy Drexler pitched the last three innings. They combined by giving up seven Clarissa hits, struck out three, walked 10, and hit one batter. The Bullheads had three double plays in the game to help put out additional scoring threats. Third baseman Nate Osborne had two put-outs and six assists for the game.

In Saturday’s semi-final game in Belle Plaine against the Apple Valley A’s, Searles had leads of 5-2 after 4 innings and 6-4 going into the bottom of the sixth, when the A’s scored four runs to take the lead and win 8-6. Craig Schmitz pitched the first five innings, with Schaefer getting the loss in relief.

For the season, the Searles Bullheads ended with an overall record of 9-7.