With time literally running out during the three-hour window allotted for their season-opening, non-conference high school baseball game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, the Marshall Tigers claimed an exciting 4-3 victory over the New Ulm Eagles in walk-off fashion Tuesday evening.
Colton Peterson drilled a game-winning, two-out single to right field to drive in Riley Carpenter from second base, snapping a 3-3 deadlock in the bottom of the 12th inning and giving the Tigers (1-0 overall) a thrilling finish to a well-played ballgame.
"What a way to open the season," summed up Marshall head coach Steve Fleck. "It was fun to play a game at the Metrodome, and we're appreciative of the opportunity that we had. We played a very good New Ulm team and used all of our players, so coming out of there with a win the way we did was really an excellent experience for our kids."
Each team scored a pair of runs early, and New Ulm held a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Derek Buysse's pinch-hit single then started a Tigers' rally, and he later came around to score the tying run on a safety-squeeze bunt by Leo Zerr to send the game into extra innings.
Then, after four scoreless innings and with time just about up, Marshall manufactured the game-winning run in the bottom of the 12th. Carpenter drew a lead-off walk, stole second base and later scored on Peterson's two-out single to right field.
"Colton came through with a timely base hit, which we didn't always get when we had some chances earlier in the game," Fleck said. "We did hit the ball pretty well overall, outhitting New Ulm 14-8. We did a lot of good things and played great defense for 12 innings."
Marshall played errorless defense in recording 36 outs and also turned a pair of key inning-ending double plays to limit New Ulm's scoring potential.
Carpenter started on the mound and pitched the first four innings for Marshall, striking out two batters and issuing three walks. Aaron Mathiowetz then pitched two innings before Alex Fenske tossed an inning and a third.
Mason Schnaible earned the win by hurling the final 4 2/3 innings, keeping New Ulm scoreless. The Eagles didn't score from the sixth inning on.
"We pitched well, but did issue eight total walks," Fleck said. "That's something that will need to change, as we will have to challenge hitters more in order to be successful."
Schnaible led Marshall at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a pair of stolen bases. Fenske was 2-for-6 with a double and two RBIs, while Carpenter and Zerr also had two hits apiece.
Marshall is off until next Tuesday when it hosts Pipestone Area at Legion Field.
New Ulm 020 001 000 000 - 3 8 1
Marshall 200 000 100 001 - 4 14 0
Marshall-Riley Carpenter, Aaron Mathiowetz (5), Alex Fenske (7), Mason Schnaible (8). WP: Schnaible. Marshall: 2B-Fenske.