Woodbury comes from behind to hang a loss on Mavericks

Woodbury 5 - Oakdale 4

The Woodbury Post 501 Blue rallied in the seventh inning and the Oakdale Mavericks never recovered Tuesday, July 15 at Tartan Field in a District III American Legion baseball contest.

The Blue fell behind by 4-1 at the end of two innings and then saw had a resurgence. In the top of the seventh Woodbury moved to a 5-4 lead which was threatened, but never headed by the Mavericks.

“We just can’t seem to win a ball game,” lamented Oakdale manager Doug Berfeldt. “We have lost 15 of our last 16 games. It seems like we look for a way to lose instead of how to win.

“This was a team we felt we could beat, but again we ended on the wrong side of the score,” Berfeldt said, whose players primarily attend Tartan High School.

“I was proud of the way our kids hung in there and got the win. We gave them a few runs early on and didn’t play very smart,” stated ‘Woodbury manager Brian Palkovich.

“But we were able to chip away at their lead and came back to win. We changed pitchers in the fifth inning and you could almost feel the confidence the whole team seemed to feel. It seemed to change them mentally. In the end we were able to pull it out.”

Palkovich was referring to John Horner, who moved to the mound from his third- base position in the bottom of the fifth inning.

In addition to gaining the win for the Blue, Horner went 3-for-3 at the plate, stole two bases and scored two runs including the game-winner in the seventh.

In the top of the first Woodbury’s John McDonald scored.

Three consecutive walks to Eric Winter, Chad Tschida and Tommy Hanson loaded the bases to lead off the bottom of the first for the Mavericks. Winter came home on a wild pitch that knotted the count at 1-1.

In their half of the second the Mavericks moved to a 4-1 margin when Jay Zwak led off with a single up the middle. He moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt. He scored on a slow-roller to the right side that Andrew Gravem beat out.

Gravem then took second on a wild pitch in front of a ground ball to the left side off the bat of Tschida. The ball was over thrown high to first, allowing Gravem to score and Tschida to end up at third base. He then came home on a wild pitch and the Mavericks had a 4-1 leeway.

In the top of the fourth the Blue’s Ben Brown slapped a one-out single to right and eventually scored.

In the upper fourth the Blue drew a run closer when Horner led off with a single through the left side hole. He stole second and moved to third on a right side ground out. Brady Gunderson smacked a solid shot into centerfield and Horner came home and the Blue trailed 4-3.

Two Maverick errors allowed McDonald and Horner to score in the seventh inning to push Woodbury to a 5-4 margin.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Mavericks loaded the bases on a walk, a dropped ball in the outfield and a hit batter, but the threat went for naught when a called third strike ended the game.

The teams will now look to the Sub-Section playoffs in hopes of gaining a spot in the state tournament, which will take place in Eagan Aug. 1-4.

Wally Wakefield can be reached at wwakefield@lillienews.com.


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