Against an old rival, the Marshall Tigers baseball team erupted for eight runs in the middle innings to give its new head coach his first victory.
The Tigers used a three-run double off the bat of Aaron Mathiowetz to spark a five-run fourth inning and added three more runs in the fifth on their way to a 10-2 win over the New Ulm Eagles in New Ulm on Monday. It was the team's first win under first-year head coach and 2004 Marshall graduate Chace Pollock.
Marshall trailed 2-0 entering the top of the third and rallied for 10 unanswered runs in the game. Five of those runs came in the top of the fourth when Mathiowetz delivered a bases-loaded double.
"We got offered some opportunities in that inning and we took advantage of them," Pollock said. "We found a way to get on base at the top of our order and then, when it came down to it, Mathiowetz had a huge double for us down the line that scored three runs. Jon Kor was pinch running for Colton Peterson and scored from first on a double down the line, not many high school kids are able to do that."
Mathiowetz had just one hit in the game, finishing 1-for-4, but did drive in four runs. Bryce Johnson and Derek Buysse also had strong games batting. Buysse was 3 of 4 with a pair of doubles, while Johnson was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.
It wasn't just the big hit that helped the Tigers to their eight-run victory, Marshall also managed to manufacture some runs during the fifth.
Marshall001 531 0-10 14 0
New Ulm200 000 0-2 4 1
M-Colton Peterson, Conner Mesman (6); N-Wyatt Peterson, Collin Kral (4), Tyler Dittrich (6). WP-C. Peterson. LP-W. Peterson. 2B: M-Derek Buysse 2, Aaron Mathiowetz.
"Walker Werpy did a nice job of getting a bunt down and Bryce Johnson hit him in," Pollock said. "We manufactured a couple more runs, so we did a nice job of situational hitting this game."
As a team the Tigers had 14 hits against the Eagles, who entered the game 6-0.
"We know New Ulm has a better game in them, so we're not coming out of here thinking that we're eight runs better than that team," Pollock said. "The kids showed up and came to play today, so we've got to take a little bit of credit for it. We can't get too overconfident with ourselves. We'll continue to grow and we have a couple days of practice here to clean up some other things."
Marshall came into Monday with an 0-2 record after being swept by the Windom Eagles on Friday in a Southwest Conference doubleheader. Errors were critical in Marshall's first loss to Windom since 2009, but the Tigers were mistake-free on defense Monday.
"We made big strides today defensively," Pollock said. "We went from making six errors on Friday to turn it around and not have any today. That rarely ever happens, but the guys played well defensively and that's what you've got to do to win ballgames. You can't give up extra outs and it starts with good pitching.
"Colton Peterson, for making his first start for us in his career, came out and threw a good game for us and gave us a chance to win. That's what we ask for and our defense responded well behind him."
Peterson earned the win in five innings of work, allowing two runs on four hits and five walks. Conner Mesman threw two perfect innings of relief for the Tigers, fanning two in the process.
Up next for Marshall (1-2 overall) is a Southwest Conference doubleheader with Redwood Valley in Redwood Falls on Thursday.