MANKATO — An injury riddled Mankato East baseball team overcame plenty of adversity Saturday night at Franklin Rogers Park, pulling out a stunning 6-4, eight-inning Big Nine Conference win over Mankato West.
West (11-7 overall, 10-7 in Big Nine) looked like it would blow out the pitching-challenged Cougars when RBI singles from Alex Goettl, Ryan Theissen and Tyler Stoffel along with Jayme Munsterman’s sacrifice fly staked Theissen to a 4-0 lead after two frames.
However, a gutty pitching performance from senior right-hander Sean Allan gave the Cougars a chance to tie things with a pair of runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings.
Junior catcher Cooper Wolfe’s two-out, two-run single off Scarlets’ relief pitcher Josh Cook got things rolling before a crucial seventh-inning miscue by the Scarlets allowed junior first baseman Nick Brink to deliver a clutch RBI single to even things.
After the Scarlets bounced into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, four straight errors produced two unearned runs in the top of the eighth.
Freshman right-hander Luke Makovsky induced the twin-killing before finishing things off with a hitless eighth inning. Allan scattered 11 hits over 6.2 innings as the Cougars improved to 7-10 overall and 7-9 in the Big Nine.
Theissen enjoyed a productive all-around game for West, collecting four hits and giving up two runs over 5.1 innings. Junior center fielder Steven Nessler ripped three hits, stole five bases and scored twice for West, which stranded 11 runners on base.
Stoffel helped out with a pair of hits. Brink and Wolfe lead a seven-hit Cougars’ attack with two hits each.
Both teams are in action on Monday, with East hosting Rochester Mayo and West entertaining Owatonna.