The defense nearly cost Crookston a win, but the bats rallied in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.
In a game that saw 17 runs and nine errors, the Crookston Reds (16-13, 6-4) watched their lead vanish in the top of the ninth only to regain it back and walk off in the bottom half to beat the Moorhead Miners 9-8. Lars Brevik scored the tying run on a ball hit by Alex LaFrance and Cody Magsam brought LaFrance home with the game-winning sacrifice fly. The win served as Crookston’s third walk off of the season and their fifth in their last at-bat. The Reds also secured the two seed in the upcoming postseason tournament with the win.
Blake Karas started the game on the mound for Crookston and pitched eight innings allowing seven runs, three earned. Brevik took over in the ninth inning and nearly escaped with the save. With runners on second and third, the Reds committed a throwing error allowing Moorhead’s go-ahead run to score.
LaFrance’s and Magsam’s RBI bailed out Brevik and the defense to award Crookston their 10th win in 12 games and fourth straight victory.
Bailey Schmitz and Will Zimmerman played key roles for the offense. Schmitz drove in four runs and Zimmerman collected an RBI, scored three runs and stole three bags on his way to finishing a home run shy of the cycle. LaFrance, Magsam and Taylor Kenfield also tallied an RBI and a run.
The first of five lead changes came in the third when the Reds went ahead 3-2. The Miners scored one in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead, but the Reds retaliated with two in the bottom of the sixth. Then came the eventful ninth inning in which the teams traded two runs with the Reds striking last.
Crookston will look to extend their winning streak to five when they travel to Ada on Thursday, July 19 to face the A’s at 7:30 p.m. In two games this season, Ada took both from the Reds.