The PL Jays traveled to Fredrickson Field in Elko Wed June 1 for non league action with the Elko Express in an intra county MBA Class B non league game and it took extra innings to determine the winner.
Pat Galvin got the start on the mound for the Jays and out up zeros for the host Express the 1st 4 innings with no hits and a double play in the 1st inning. The Jays would plate the 1st 2 runs in the 4th inning on a leadoff single by shortstop Jim Schroeder, followed by a hard chopper to short by thirdbaseman Sam Kortes that snuck through. Rightfielder Adam Cress reached on balls to load the bases before a sharp hit to left by DH Dan Schroeder plated the Jays 1st run. With the next 2 Jays striking out 2nd baseman Jeff Butler knocked in the Jays 2nd run on a single that scored Kortes making the score 2-0 Jays in the 4th inning. The visiting Jays tallied their 3rd run in the 5th inning on a 1 out si sharp ngle down 3rd base line by Jim Schroeder who advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch and was plated on a 2 out single to left by Cress making the score 3-0 Jays after 4 and ½ innings.
The host Express got a leadoff batter Dustin Lehnen on with a soft hit to shallow 3rd unable to be corralled by a charging Kortes. He advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch and was knocked in by Nick Kulla on a clutch 2-2 count single up the middle making the score 3-1 Jays after 5 complete. Galvin yielded a leadoff single in the 6th to Express shortstop Kyle Kalina that was stranded with 3 straight outs. The Express knotted the game at 3-3 in the 7th with 3 singles and a sac fly plating 1 run before a Jays error allowed the 2nd run to tied the game with 2 outs.
TJ Larson moved to pitcher in the 8th with a tied ballgame and hung zeros in the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th innings. In the 12th inning for the Jays player Manager Scott Geisler called his number for a pinch hit and lifted a clutch 1-1 count soft fly beyond the infield off Elko pitcher Mitch Maurer to shallow center to lead off the inning and Butler sacrifice bunted him over nearly beating the play wheeling down to first. Geisler scored on a ball in play by Jays outfielder Bryan Sanchez that the Express firstbaseman was unable to catch on the throw which advanced Geisler home and Sanchez to 2nd on the error. Following a walk to centerfielder Jonesy Buescher, who also doubled in the 1st, the bases were loaded with a 2 out walk to Kortes but the bases were left loaded on the 3rd out with the Jays lead 4-3 after 11 ½ innings.
The Express rallled for 2 runs in the 12th on a hit, a walk on a closely called attempted double play ruled safe and a walk and with the game knotted at 4-4 a clutch 2-2 count 2 out single by Elko centerfielder Nick Altavilla to end the game with a 5-4 12 inning Elko win. Larson had the loss hung on him in relief for the Jays throwing 5 innings, yielding 2 runs, 3 hits, 8 strikeouts and just 1 walk. Jays Starter Pat Galvin threw 7 innings allowing 3 runs, 1 earned scattering 5 hits and striking out 5 Express allowing 1 walk. Dan Schroeder led Jays hitters going 2-5 with an RBI while Jim Schroeder was 2-6 scoring twice. Jeff Butler was 1-4 with an RBI and 2 sac and Adam Cress 1-3 with a walk, sac, RBI and Scott Geisler 1-1 with a run scored. Bryan Sanchez made a couple nice long running plays for outs in leftfield to help keep the hosts off the board in good outings for Galvin and Larson on the hill.
The loss puts the hard luck 2016 Jays at 0-3 on the young season with all 3 losses by 1 run to Jordan (4-3), St Louis Park (3-2) and Elko (5-4, 12 inn).
NEXT UP: The Jays will look toward the 8 team Elko/New Market Budweiser Invitational Tournament with a 1st game slated for 1000AM Sat June 4th vs. MBA Class A Minneapolis Cobras before facing the New Market Muskies/Minneapolis Lions Pub in winners/losers bracket action Sat June 4th afternoon (5PM if win/130PM if lose 1st game). Both of the 1st 2 Tourney games are scheduled to take place at New Market Hillside Park with the 3rd game time and location TBD for Sunday June 5. If weather impacts Friday or Saturday AM games, the Integra PL Hardball Hotline 952-226-3800 will have the latest information on the Tournament schedule. The Jays were Runners Up in the 2014 Tourney dropping to Coon Rapids and captured the Bud Bonus Game Trophy defeating St Patrick in 2015, their 2 appearances in the Bud Classic.