Barke’s GW hits propels BEA in Section 2AA baseball clash | News, Sports, Jobs

STRETCH PLAY — Blue Earth Area first baseman Nick Barke (left) stretches out to catch a high throw to record the out on leaping Medford batter Jack Paulson (1) during Section 2AA playoff baseball action Thursday in Blue Earth. (Photo by Greg Abel)

BLUE EARTH — Nick Barke’s bases-loaded, two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted the No 6-seeded Blue Earth Area Bucs past the No. 11-seeded Medford Tigers 5-4 in the first round of the Section 2AA baseball tournament at Veterans Field.

“We can count on Barke getting consistent at-bats and today he had good at-bats,” BEA head coach Paul Nienaber said. “We knew he had a hit when he hit it.”

Barke lined a single down the left-field line, scoring Soren Fering with the winning run.

The Bucs improve to 9-8 overall and advance to the second round to play No. 3-seeded Sibley East at 5 pm Tuesday at Gaylord. Sibley East defeated No. 14-seeded Blooming Prairie, 6-0, Thursday.

Errors helped Medford stay in the game. Only one run was earned as the Bucs committed four errors in the game.

“I think we had a case of playoff jitters,” Nienaber said. “We typically make those plays, but today we didn’t.”

Both teams combined for only eight hits. BEA helped its cause, stealing five bases and drawing five walks.

Both teams played small-ball, with Medford laying down four sacrifice bunts, while BEA had one sacrifice bunt.

Barke and Fering had a team-leading two hits apiece for the Bucs, with one of Barke’s a double. Logan O’Hara had the other hit for the Bucs.

Jack Paulson, Noah Honsey and Tate Hermes had the hits for Medford.

O’Hara was the winning pitcher, going the distance for BEA. O’Hara gave up only three hits, walked five and struck out five. Casey Chambers suffered the loss for Medford, pitching 6 2/3 innings, giving up five hits, five walks and striking out two.

Medford finished its season at 4-9 overall.

MED 100 021 0 — 4 3 0

BEA 200 020 1 — 5 5 4

Casey Chambers (LP) and Tate Hermes. Logan O’Hara (WP) and Carson Sturtz.

LOB–Medford 9, Blue Earth Area 9. 2B–Nick Barke (BEA). SAC–Tate Hermes (MED) 2, Justin Voegele (MED) and Connor Jones (MED) and Colton Hubly (BEA). SF–Nick Barke (BEA).

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