The above photo shows Jamie Van Kempen batting for the Morris Eagles at Chizek Field vs. Appleton. Photo by B.W.
It was hard to believe that the Morris Eagles' season could end with a single loss after a monumental win streak of ten. Tournaments can sometimes get so complicated with their various tiers, divisions and double-elimination systems, I'm hesitant to write with specificity about them.
Dumont 4, Eagles 0
Unfortunately, when the Eagles took the field to play the Dumont Saints and their feared pitcher Lee Arvold, they were in a position of having to win to advance. No second chances.
The Eagles entered that August 7 game having won ten straight times. But that didn't matter. Ouch. The Eagles' bats were silent in a 4-0 loss. Arnold ruled the day at the Madison diamond. Arvold is a southpaw draftee from the Chokio Coyotes.
Morris came up with only four hits, two of them by Dusty Sauter. On the bright side, Sauter could reflect on an outstanding rookie season that saw him bat a sizzling .422. Dusty led the team with 21 RBIs. He was also busy playing with the Morris American Legion baseball team.
Adam Torkelson was sent to the mound to vie against Arvold and the Saints. Torkelson was a little sub-par in the control department and he allowed a three-run rally in the fifth. The Litchfield native and former UMM Cougar was making his final start wearing the Eagle blue. The next chapter in his life will take him west to Colorado for graduate school. Eagles spokesman Matthew "Silver Squirrel" Carrington thanked Adam heartily for his commitment to the blue cause.
The blue cause had lots of success through the course of the 2010 season. Morris Eagles baseball posted a won-lost mark of 16-6. Too bad the season ended with a relative thud at the Madison diamond. In the long run the good memories will outweigh the bad.
Arvold had shown previous mastery vs. the Eagles. The lefty shut out the blue crew for six innings in a June contest. As for Torkelson, his pitching work spanned four and a third innings and he gave up five hits and three runs (two earned) while walking three batters and hitting two.
Carrington finished up the pitching work and his stint spanned four and two-thirds innings. Carrington set down four Coyote batters on strikes. His other stats included three hits allowed, one run (earned) and one walk.
In addition to Dusty Sauter's two hits, Ross Haugen and Torkelson each had one. The Eagles had two errors while Dumont had one.
Eagles 12, Appleton 10
The story was totally different when the Eagles hosted the Appleton A's on the first day of this month.
What a story on this day!
The situation seemed hopeless when the Eagles fell behind 9-1 after the top of the third inning. But instead of "garbage time" unfolding, the Eagles mounted a memorable comeback. In the end they won this playoff contest 12-10.
This writer was at the game when the Eagles were at their lowest. It truly seemed bleak. But the blue crew began clawing back with a three-run rally in the bottom of the third. The situation got brighter with a five-run outburst in the seventh. That outburst included a blast off Kirby Marquart's bat that struck within a foot of the top of the fence in center. The blast ended up a three-run triple.
The green-clad Appleton A's found some new life to tie the score in the top of the ninth. Too much wind had left their sails, though. The Eagles would make their final decisive statement led by Kirby Marquart.
First, Jamie Van Kempen recorded his fourth hit of the game: a single bounced into right field. The burly Marquart strode to the plate, determined to give the ball a ride again, and give it a ride he did! Marquart connected for a majestic home run to right-center.
"His huge day was a single short of the cycle," spokesman Carrington reported.
Kirby was a cog in the Eagles' never-say-day stance with his three-for-six boxscore numbers with his double, triple, home run and five RBIs.
Van Kempen had his superlative day from the "9 hole." He went four-for-five with two runs-batted-in. Chase Rambow rapped two hits and drove in a run.
Appleton outhit the Eagles 12-11. But Appleton committed a costly five errors to the Eagles' three.
Dusty Sauter scored a run and drove in a run. Ross Haugen went one-for-four and scored a run. Eric Asche recorded an RBI. Craig Knochenmus crossed home plate once. Torkelson went one-for-three with two runs scored.
"Silver Squirrel" Carrington had a run scored. Haugen and Van Kempen each stole two bases. Sauter and Haugen each reached via hit-by-pitch.
Appleton seemed to want to pitch around Sauter who was the recipient of three walks. Torkelson and Carrington each tossed the bat aside and trotted down to first base twice on walks, and Knochenmus reached once this way.
Torkelson looked unsteady on the mound and lasted two and a third innings. He gave up five hits and eight runs (six earned) while walking five batters. Carrington pitched the remaining six and two-thirds innings and was of course the winner. Matthew set down four A's batters on strikes. He allowed seven hits and two runs (earned) while walking two.
References like "Silver Squirrel" in connection with the veteran Carrington will probably ensure that the Eagles coverage on this blog will probably not get linked on the main Eagles website. That linking will likely remain an elusive dream, like getting on the cover of The Rolling Stone.
Matthew is to be commended for continuing his commitment to the most serious side of amateur baseball rather than slowing down to play in the seniors' circuit, not that the latter isn't a nice outlet for a lot of committed players.
"See you next season!" the enthused Carrington said.
The 16-6 won-lost mark of 2010 stokes optimism for when "play ball!" is heard next summer.
Thanks to all the fans too.
-Brian Williams - morris mn Minnesota - firstname.lastname@example.org