Long ball key for Longhorns in 2C win

By Jeremy Reinarts

Journal Sports Writer

LEAVENWORTH — Stark defeated Springfield 5-2 in Region 2C amateur baseball playoff action on Tuesday night in Leavenworth.

Stark opened the scoring in the top half of the first inning with a solo home run off the bat of Brandon Helget. Helget’s homer cleared the right-field wall with plenty of room to spare.

Springfield rallied with a no-out bases-loaded RBI to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Springfield was able to load the bases from a single and two hits, trying to take charge of the Stark pitching.

Jay Helget, a draftee from Essig, took the mound for Stark and went the distance to earn the win.

Both teams settled the first inning with great defensive efforts to keep the game intense.

The long ball helped Stark in the top half of the second with a two-run shot hit over the left-field fence by Jake Mangen, scoring Joey Wahl after he reached earlier on a single. Mangen’s two-run homer proved to be the winning run still in the second inning.

Stark threatened in the fourth inning with a leadoff double and pushed a runner to third. Springfield was able to end the threat with three consecutive outs to strand the Stark runner.

Stark added an insurance run in the sixth inning, taking advantage of a misplayed ball up the middle and scoring the runner all the way from first. Dusty Mangen drove in the run with a single up the middle, scoring Adam Sellner on the error.

Springfield clawed back with one run in the home half of the seventh inning, taking advantage of two errors on the field. Springfield did not earn a hit during the inning, moving runners up from errors and a fielder’s choice.

Shawn Anderson took the loss for Springfield, pitching six innings. Anderson was relieved by Brandon Wilhelmi to finish the game. Issac Fink led Springfield, going 2 for 4 and also reaching on an error.

Brandon Helget led Stark, going 3 for 4 with a home run and Dusty Mangen went 2 for 4 with a single and an extra-base hit.