The Albion Tigers wrapped up their COVID-shortened 2021 season with an 8-4 loss to the McFarland Muskies. The loss drops the Tigers to 4-6 in the Southeast Section, in a three-way tie for fifth place with McFarland and Cambridge. The season showed marked improvement for the young Tigers, dropping two one-run games and having two other losses in which Albion had a lead in the 8th inning. Better days ahead!
The Albion Tigers and Utica Association opened up the 50th Utica Fest on Thursday night by playing to a 7-7 tie in a Night League game that was called due to darkness after seven innings. The Tigers were led offensively by Charlie Hatlen, who was 2x4 and two 2-run doubles for Albion. Starting pitcher Dan Zeimet pitched very well into the fifth inning, allowing 3 unearned runs before giving way to Drew Hanson. Hanson got out of a jam in the fifth and threw a scoreless sixth, and Albion took a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh. With darkness having fallen, Utica rallied to tie the game on only one hit before Hanson got out to preserve the tie.
The Albion Tigers rode a big fourth inning and then held on for a 6-3 victory over the Fort Atkinson Generals on Sunday in Albion Park. The win keeps Albion in the hunt for a Southeast Section postseason spot, just one game out with two to play.
Despite threatening every inning, Fort held only a 1-0 lead as the game moved into the bottom of the fourth. Clayton Klubertanz had a leadoff double but was still standing on second base with two outs when Sam Veitch singled into left to finally break the ice for the Tigers. Dan Zeimet and Matthew Klubertanz followed with consecutive singles and both scored when Drew Hanson reached on an error. Jake Zeimet then lined a single into right to bring home Hanson to push the lead to 5-1.
Albion got an insurance run in the fifth on an RBI from Brian Rusch, and that run looked to be huge as Fort rallied in the ninth, scoring two and bringing the tying run to the plate. However, the Albion defense turned their third double play of the day to snuff out the rally and make a winner of starting pitcher Charlie Hatlen, who had thrown six innings of quality ball. Hanson threw three solid innings to earn the save.
The Albion Tigers won the annual Wally Olstad Classic by a score of 17-3 against the Waterloo McKays on Sunday. The game, played at Edgerton's Tobacco Days celebration, moves Albion's record to 3-4 in the Southeast Section with three games remaining in the truncated season.
The Tigers had a total of 15 hits, and were able to take advantage of several Waterloo errors to blow open a tight game with a ten-run sixth inning. Jake Taylor and Charlie Hatlen were both 3x4 with multiple RBIs on the day. Brice Christianson, Matthew Klubertanz, and Clayton Klubertanz also added two hits apiece for Albion.
The Albion Tigers trailed 3-1 after one inning, but eventually put together a four-run sixth inning and then survived a seventh inning rally to beat the Cambridge Blues 5-3 in a Night League game on Thursday. RBI hits from Drew Hanson and Clayton Klubertanz knotted the game with two outs. After Sam Veitch drew a walk, pinch-hitter Brendan Mades stepped in and laced the first pitch into the left-center gap to bring in the winning run and a huge insurance run.
The Albion moundmen performed admirably. Starter Skyler Gullickson had a shaky first inning, but settled in to put four straight zeros on the board. Charlie DeVoll came on in relief to throw a scoreless sixth and get the first two outs in the seventh, but after Cambridge was able to load the bases, Hanson was able to induce a groundball to end the game.
The Albion Tigers ran their record in the Southeast Section to 2-3 with a 11-0 victory at Waterloo on Sunday. The Albion bats banged out ten base hits, led by Brice Christianson (3x4), Brian Rusch (2x3), and Drew Hanson (2x3). Christianson also contributed three RBIs and caught another outstanding performance by Albion pitcher Charlie Hatlen, who spun six innings allowing only two baserunners. Charlie DeVoll pitched a scoreless seventh to lock it down for Albion.
RBI singles by Skyler Gullickson, Rusch, and Christianson led to four runs in the second inning, and the 4-0 lead held until the sixth inning. Christianson struck again for a RBI hit, and pinch runner Quinn Kotnour scored on a passed ball to make it 6-0. RBIs from Jake Taylor, Christianson, and Matthew Klubertanz in the seventh inning finished the scoring for Albion.
The Albion Tigers have gone through a brutal stretch of their schedule and emerged with a 1-3 record. After beating rival Utica 4-2 to start the season, the Tigers dropped tight games to perennial powers Stoughton (score of 4-3) and Jefferson (score of 3-0) as well as a 7-4 loss to two-time defending Southeast champ Evansville.
The Albion Tigers are now 1-0 in the Southeast Section of the Home Talent League after a 4-2 win against the Utica Association on Sunday afternoon. Charlie Hatlen started on the mound and was outstanding, allowing six hits and no walks over eight innings, while the Albion defense was nearly flawless behind him.
Utica and Albion both got on the board early, each getting two runs in the first inning. Brian Rusch drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a RBI hit by Jake Zeimet, and Hatlen scored two batters later on an RBI single from Clayton Klubertanz. Skyler Gullickson made an immediate impact in his Albion debut by drawing a second-inning walk, stealing a base, and scoring on another hit from Hatlen to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead that would hold up.
An important insurance run came in the seventh. Jake Taylor led off with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Josh Reese. After a walk to Sam Veitch and an infield hit from Gullickson, Jake Zeimet drew a bases-loaded walk to force Reese home.
The Albion Tigers returned home Sunday for the first time in more than 20 months and were able to celebrate a 4-0 exhibition win over the Rio Railmen. Charlie Hatlen was the headliner, pitching eight efficient innings and allowing six hits while walking nobody. Brian Rusch finished the job on the mound with a scoreless ninth.
The Tigers got on the board with a pair in the second inning. Dan Zeimet drew a leadoff walk, moved around on Rusch's single to right, and ultimately scampered home on a passed ball. Two batters later, Rusch scored on a deep fly ball to rightfield by Brice Christianson.
Insurance runs came in the sixth and seventh. Jesse Appel tripled into the rightfield corner and scored on Dan Zeimet's sacrifice fly in the sixth, and a RBI single from Matthew Klubertanz drove his brother Clayton home in the seventh to provide the final margin.