• 50°

Against all odds: Tigers head to Round Four

It’s going to take more than the H1N1 flu scare and severe thunderstorms to keep the Luverne Tigers from going for the gold.

After defeating 4th ranked Bayside Academy during a rain-soaked double-header, the Tigers will now travel to the AHSAA semi-finals this Friday against the winner of Wednesday’s Trinity-Dadeville games.

The Tigers were down 2-0 when Tuesday’s game was delayed by the severe rains that rolled through for over three hours, according to LHS head baseball coach Andre Parks.

Bayside jumped out to an 0-2 lead early in the game, but Parks said the rain delay helped Luverne get “focused and back in the game.”

Monterio May hit a two-run homer in the third inning to get the Tigers back in action.

“We had two outs in the bottom of the sixth, and Matthew Sipper hit a single up the middle to score Monterio May from second base, and that ended up being the winning run,” Parks said.

May pitched a complete game and struck out seven batters. Corey Hale and Matthew Sipper had two hits each for the Tigers.

It was close to 11 p.m. before the second game began, but that didn’t deter Luverne. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and added two more runs in the second inning.

But the big play came in the 5th inning when Micah Wallace hit a grand slam homerun.

“We had a six-run 5th inning, and that blew the game open for us,” Parks said. Luverne then led Bayside 12-7.

“Adam Foster pitched six innings and did a great job finishing the game for us,” Parks said. “He did an outstanding job on the mound.”

The final score at 1:25 Wednesday morning was 17-10, with Luverne heading for the semi-finals.

During the second game, Evan Richardson had two hits for the Tigers, and Chad Free had three hits.

“Bayside walked 13 of our batters during that game,” Parks said.

“I’d like to say a personal thank you to all the dads, students, and everyone who helped take care of the field during all the rain Tuesday night,” Parks said. “If it hadn’t been for them, we would have been playing three games yesterday.”

Luverne’s overall record now stands at 26-5.

Friday’s game times are to be announced. The winner of Friday’s semi-finals will play in Montgomery for the AHSAA Class 3A state championship on May 14-15.

“Tuesday night, I was so proud of them—if we had lost, we would have had a million reasons for it, but they fought through it and won and did a great job,” Parks said.