Big 7th inning leads Sleepy Eye past No. 1 Stark

By Jeremy Reinarts

Journal Sports Writer

STARK — Sleepy Eye’s eight runs in the seventh inning proved to be too much for Stark as Sleepy Eye earned its first win of the Region 2C amateur baseball playoffs.

Sleepy Eye went on to beat Stark 12-4 after Stark lead 4-1 going into the later innings of the ballgame.

Andrew Woitas got the win, pitching six innings with one strikeout and all four runs charged to Woitas.

Starks’ Sean Mathiowetz gave the Longhorns 6 1/3 solid innings as the starter before Sleepy Eye’s bats warmed up.

Sleepy Eye broke the 4-0 deficit with one run in the sixth inning from two hits, both of which were for extra bases.

Matt Berkner lead off the top half of the sixth inning with a double for Sleepy Eye. Alan Woitas traded places with Berkner to score the run and finally reach the scoreboard.

Sleepy Eye’s eight-run seventh inning came from seven hits and two walks. Andrew Woitas singled with the bases loaded for the first RBI of the inning, followed by a hard-hit single by Joey Walter with the two RBIs to keep the inning moving for Sleepy Eye. Chad Armbruster hit a two-RBI double for his second at-bat of the inning as the Indians continued the damage with two outs.

Starks relief pitcher Nolan Hurias came in with one out still in the seventh and four runs across with the task to get out of the inning.

Stark scored early with two runs in the home half of the second inning from three hits. Jake Mangen doubled into left for the RBI with two outs in the inning. Mangen was brought home on a single from Brandon Helget as Stark took the early lead. Stark left two runners onboard in the inning and left 12 runners on through nine innings.

Stark added to its early lead with two runs in the fifth and the 4-0 lead. Helget started the inning with an infield single followed by a sacrificed bunt by Mathiowetz to get the runner into scoring position.

Dusty Mangen’s two-out RBI single in the fifth scored Helget from second before Mangen was run back to first on a delayed steal with a runner at third. Adam Sellner stepped across home plate before the play on Mangen was made to get the run and open the lead. Sellner was intentionally walk as the Indians chose to put a runner on first and try for the double play situation.

Sleepy Eye’s Matt Mielke went 2 for 2 with two walks and scored twice, Armbruster went 2 for 4 with a walk and two RBIs and Berkner was 2 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs.

Stark’s Helget was 2 for 2 with three walks, Dusty Mangen went 2 for 5 with an RBI and Jake Mangen was 1 for 4 with an RBI and reached on an error.

Stark will travel to New Ulm for a 2 p.m. game on Sunday, while Sleepy Eye will host Lamberton at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.