Defense shows up big for
Eagles in 7-4 win over LHS
By STEVEN G. WATSON
Most will tell you that defense wins baseball games and the Goshen Eagles got a huge defensive play to prove that theory in a 7-4 win against the Luverne Tigers Monday.
With Goshen (3-7) holding a slim 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth, GHS starting pitcher Jason Burgans was facing men at second and third and no outs when the Eagles’ infield took care of business and iced the team’s third victory of the year.
GHS third baseman Russ Hamm fielded a hard shot in the dirt and quickly gunned down the runner who was trying to score from third. Then, after the play at the plate, catcher Averick Rogers fired it back to Hamm to notch a double play that spoiled Luverne’s chances and ended the late-inning threat.
"With two men in scoring position and no outs you’re just looking to get out of the inning with as little damage as possible," GHS head coach Chad Dube said. "That was the most exciting play of the day there’s no doubt. It’s definitely what you’re looking for as a coach.
"Defense is something we’ve struggled with all year and it’s something that we’ve really been trying to stress," he continued. "We worked on it and today defense won the ball game for us."
The day looked to be another in a long line of come-from-behind victories scored against the Eagles, but after failing to hold on to a 4-0 lead, the Tigers took advantage of three Goshen errors and a couple of singles in the fifth to knot the score at 4-4.
GHS wasted no time in their half of the fifth, however and took a 5-4 lead only to add to it in the bottom of the sixth.
Hamm got on base after being hit by a pitch, then, Dee Brundidge sent him home with a long double to right and scored himself with some great base running. Thanks to two Luverne errors on the play and the speed of Brundidge, the Eagles were safe with some insurance runs to back up Burgans final inning on the mound.
"That has been one of our strengths all year," Dube said. "We have team speed and I’ve tried to get them to utilize it by hitting the ball on the ground and forcing the defense to make plays on us. We’ve been blessed with great speed and base-running ability. That showed a bit today."
Even in his seventh inning on the mound, Burgans showed no signs of slipping. After giving up a single to start the inning, the starter whiffed the next three batters leaving him with nine K’s on the day and notching the complete-game win.
Clarence Bean finished with a single and two RBI’s, Rogers had a double and an RBI and Brundidge had the double and two RBI’s.