The Watkins Clippers won their first three games in the June 13-16 Hwy. 55 Tournament, by a total of three runs, defeating Litchfield, 4-3; St. Augusta, 3-2; and Owatonna, 1-0. The championship game was called in the top of the fourth inning, because of rain, and the Clippers were awarded the co-championship, along with the Cold Spring Springers.
Game number one v the Litchfield Blues on Thursday, June 13, started off a little rocky for the Clippers, who gave up a 3-0 lead through the first five innings. The Clips answered back, taking the lead in the sixth, with four runs, on back-to-back singles by Kevin Kramer and Adam Hiltner. Following an RBI single by Dan Berg, an RBI single by Miah Kramer, and later in the inning, a Ryan Tri RBI double, the Clippers would hold on for the win. Matt Geislinger slammed the door shut, relieving Bruce Geislinger, who picked up the win, in a great pitching performance, giving up just one earned run.
Hitting: Kevin Kramer, 2 for 3, run scored; Adam Hiltner, 1 for 3, run scored; Dan Berg, 1 for 3, run scored, RBI; Miah Kramer, 1 for 3, RBI; Ryan Tri, 1 for 3, double, RBI; Pitching: Bruce Geislinger, 6 innings, 3 runs, 1 earned, walked 1, 6 K’s, win; Matt Geislinger, 1 inning, 0 runs, 2 K’s, save.
The Saturday, June 15 game v St. Augusta, was a little déjà vu, all over again. The Clippers found themselves down 1-0 after the first inning. But Watkins got a pair of their own on a 2-RBI double by Ryan Tri, driving in Matt Geislinger and Grant Warren. In the sixth, St. Augusta scored 1 more to tie the game at 2, but in walk-off fashion, Bryan Benson plated Tyler Long, with a single, breaking the Gussies’ hearts and securing the victory. TJ Frericks kept the Clippers in the game with another great pitching performance, going 6-plus innings and surrendering just two runs. Matt Geislinger entered in the seventh and calmed things down, after St. Augusta had threatened with a lead-off double.
Hitting: Matt Geislinger, 1 for 2, run scored; Tyler Long, 2 for 3, run scored; Ryan Tri, 1 for 3, 2 RBI; Bryan Benson, 1 for 3, RBI; Pitching: TJ Frericks, 6 innings, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 5 K’s; Matt Geislinger, 1 inning, 0 runs, 1 K, win.
The Sunday, June 16, 1:15 affair v Owatonna was a pitcher’s duel, putting up zeros all over the board. But the Clippers’ one-run tally in the fourth inning was the difference. Dan Berg started with a single, and after Miah Kramer reached on a boot, Berg ultimately scored on a double-play ball. That was all Matt Geislinger would need, as he shut down Owatonna, on just 3 hits and 7 K’s.
Hitting: Kevin Kramer 1-3; Dan Berg 1-1 2 walks and run scored; Matt Geislinger 2-2; Bryan Benson 1-2.
Pitching: Matt Geislinger
7 innings 3 hits no runs walk 2 K 7 win.
The Clippers now stand at 8-5 overall. Their next action is Saturday, June 22, 12 noon in Watkins, against the Bird Island Bullfrogs, in the Gaylord/Arlington Tournament.
The Clippers’ Grant Moore runs for home in the Highway 55 Tournament championship game against the Cold Spring Springers. Called for rain, the two teams will share the championship. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua.