Pitching by committee leads Winona past Stewartville-Racine
Winona Chiefs amateur baseball player / coach Lee Trocinski had thrown 140 pitches on Wednesday, did not have access to Jesse Van Brunt and knew the club had a doubleheader less than twenty-fours later, so he was hoping three pitchers could get him nine quality innings.
Bryan Rohde, Chris Pettit and Zach Benson each logged three innings on the mound and offered up the quality frames Trocinski had hoped for as the trio led the Chiefs to a 3-1, Twin Rivers League victory over Stewartville-Racine at Gabrych Park on Friday.
Rohde started the game and though he gave up at least one hit in all three innings, only allowed one runner to advance as far as second base.
Pettit notched the middle-third of the contest and set down all nine batters he faced before giving way to Benson, who was a bit more on the wild side, but made big pitches when he needed them. After a lead-off walk to Aaron Simmons and an error on third baseman Lance Jensen, Benson induced a double play off the bat of Luke Lonien to evade trouble. Ty Schmitz then lead off the eighth with a double and scored on an RBI groundout from Sean Hohmeister, but that would be the lone Stewartville-Racine (9-8) tally of the night.
Benson again walked the lead-off batter in the ninth, but closed out the game with back-to-back strikeouts.
Winona (9-5) had baserunners in six of its eight at-bats, but the heavy damage came in the fifth and sixth off the bats of John DeMarais and Jensen.
DeMarais laced a two-out, two-run triple into the right field corner in the fifth to put the Chiefs ahead 2-0, before Jensen blasted a two-out solo homer in the sixth (his first of the year) to give Winona a 3-0 cushion.
Jay Stensgard reached base in all four of his plate appearances, as the Chiefs’ shorstop finished 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and run scored.
Be sure to tune in for Winona’s doubleheader with Sparta Miller live from Gabrych Park at 1 p.m. today only on TV 25.