Pirates frustrated by Bertha
A Bertha six-run seventh inning sunk the Pirates Friday night.
Johnnie Schmitz was in command of the Blazer batters for six solid innings and held a 6-3 advantage before five base raps and two walks led to a late Bertha rally. The Blazers led 9-6 after the stretch and added an insurance run in the ninth for the 10-6 win.
The Pirates gave Schmitz an early cushion in the fourth, plating four consecutive batters, Josh Hendrickx, Beau Bruhn, Schmitz and Taylor Doll.
Hendrickx scored on an error, Bruhn came around on a Doll single and catcher Sam Meyer's double scored Schmitz and Doll to answer a lone run in the top half of the second. Blazer Michael Riewer launched a solo shot.
Neither team threatened the plate in the third and fourth innings.
Bertha cut the lead to one on a walk and two singles in the top half of five. Marcus Riewer and Kyle Zirbes scored to make it a 4-3 Pirate lead.
Jake Kalina scored in the bottom half after doubling. Gavin Biegler brought him around with a base hit. 5-3 Pirates.
Beau Bruhn came to bat in the bottom of six and made good on a pre-game promise to belt one over the fence.
He smacked a 1-0 pitch and had a good laugh on his trot around the bags, 6-3. Biegler would work his way around the bags in the bottom of seven but it was not enough to stem the tide of the Blazers batting around in the top half.
Bruhn's smile would turn to frustration, bordering on fury, in the eighth inning.
Marcus Riewer was on first when Schmitz tried to nip him with a pick-off throw to Bruhn at the bag. Riewer bowled over Bruhn as the ball neared his glove and the collision caused the ball to soar to the fence near foul territory. Riewer advanced to third on the error but would be stranded after Schmitz struck out Zirbes and induced a fly ball to left from Patrick Ziewer to end the inning.
A third Riewer, Michael, was on in relief and fanned Kalina, Meyer and Anthony Ruther in the bottom half of eight to add to the growing tension.
Josh Hartung's single in the top of nine scored Matthew Hartung to take the 10-7 Blazer lead and pile onto the Pirate woes.
Tyler Doll would reach on an error in the Pirate last at-bats and reach second before Riewer stuck out Hendrickx and in a small twist of irony, force Bruhn to fly out to right field for the final out. Bruhn slammed his bat into the ground, disgruntled.
Schmitz threw a noodle-arm causing 158 pitches in taking the complete game loss.
The Pirates begin playoff action as the five seed Thursday, July 22, against the Wadena-Deer Creek Shockers. Location of the game has yet to be determined.
Bertha Blazers at Perham Pirates, Al Krueger Field, Friday, July 16.
BER 010 020 601 - 10 12 4
PER 040 011 100 - 7 9 4
AB R H Bi
Riewer, Ma. 3 2 1 0
Zirbes 5 2 2 2
Riewer, P. 4 1 2 2
Riewer, Mi. 4 2 1 1
Grewe 3 1 1 0
Hartung 2 1 0 0
x-Schwartz 2 0 1 1
Sieling 5 0 1 1
Hartung, Jo. 5 0 2 1
Byland 5 1 1 0
Totals 38 10 12 8
AB R H Bi
Ruther 5 0 0 0
Biegler 3 1 1 1
Doll 5 0 0 0
Hendrickx 5 1 1 1
Bruhn 5 2 2 1
Schmitz 4 1 1 0
Doll, Tay 4 1 2 1
Kalina 4 1 1 0
Meyer 3 0 1 2
Totals 38 7 9 6
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k): BER - Hartung, Mat 5-6-5-4-0-5; Riewer Mich 4-3-2-1-2-8...PER - Schmitz 9-12-11-8-6-5.