Varland handcuffs Rockets in 4-0 shutout

North St. Paul Cavalry’s Tony Bobrowski (18) scores the go ahead run on an in the park homerun in the sixth inning 3-2 win against Rosetown July 8. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
North St. Paul Cavalry’s Tony Bobrowski (18) scores the go ahead run on an in the park homerun in the sixth inning 3-2 win against Rosetown July 8. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
North St. Paul 39er’s second baseman Jimmy Bothwell (16) makes the force out and relays to first in a 4-0 win against Rosetown July 7. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
North St. Paul 39er’s second baseman Jimmy Bothwell (16) makes the force out and relays to first in a 4-0 win against Rosetown July 7. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

'Crazy' play helps seal win

With starter Gus Varland on the mound and reliever Nate Rubbelke coming on in the sixth, the 39ers put together a solid pitching performance and improved their District IV standings to 6-3 and to 15-11 overall with a 4-0 whitewash of the Rosetown Rockets Tuesday, July 7.

"Actually it was a good pitching performance by both teams," said Rosetown head coach Jeremy Nelson. "There were some 'crazy' plays, but overall it was a good game.

He added that even though the 39ers "out-hit us and out-pitched us, it was a good pitching duel."

On the mound for Rosetown was Teddy Broxterman, who limited the 39ers to six hits, issued five walks and hit a couple of batters. Broxterman also struck out five.

For the 39ers Varland went the first five innings and picked up the win. He gave up seven hits while striking out eight batters and walking three.

"He had his curveball working well," stated 39ers' assistant coach Johnny Economy. "Except for the walks, he threw a heck of a game and kept them off balance at the plate.

"All around it was an OK game for us. We were able to get some timely hits, and it turned out well for us."

Of the "crazy plays" Nelson referred to, one was something this writer hadn't seen since his grade-school days.

It happened in sixth inning. Rosetown's Zach Morse singled but ended up getting picked off first base on a good move from relief pitcher Rubbelke. An infield out later Nate Zubulake smacked a one-hop double off the center-field fence.

Then came the play that sparked a discussion among the umpires. North St. Paul second baseman Jimmy Bothwell and Rubbelke had the plan all worked out. Rubbelke went to the mound and while off the rubber, made like he was going to pitch. At that point Zubulake moved off second base and was tagged out by Bothwell who still had the ball on a "hidden ball" trick that worked.

The threat by the Rockets was their last of the game. Two hits, two runners picked off the base paths and no one left on the sacks.

North St. Paul's runs came in the first when Jake Steckler led off with a double into the right center-field gap. A fielder's choice moved him to third, and he came home with what turned out to be the game-winner on a balk.

In the fourth the 39ers managed another run when Sam Blees worked a one-out walk. He stole second and went to third on a single by Louie Varland. Rubbelke then put down a suicide bunt to score Blees.

In the bottom of the fifth Bothwell led off with a single into left and moved to second on a wild pitch. Two outs later, Jace Piepgras cracked an RBI double into right center.

In the bottom of the sixth the 39ers gained the final run of the contest when Blees knocked a leadoff single. He stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice by Louie Varland. A throwing error allowed Blees to score his second run that moved the final count to 4-0 in favor of North St. Paul.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at wwakefield@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7826.

 

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