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Albion Tigers
Matt Towns
510 St Joseph Circle
Edgerton, Wisconsin

Sunday, May 14

The Albion Tigers moved to 2-0 in the Southeast Section on Saturday night with an eight-inning win over the Evansville Jays at Lake Leota Park.  Pitchers Jake Zeimet and Cullen Oren combined to allow only two hits and strike out nine, while the Albion defense backed them up with eight innings of errorless ball.  Zeimet allowed only three baserunners in five scoreless innings to earn the win, and Oren finished up with three solid innings to close out the game for the Tigers.

The Albion bats were dominant as well, scoring two runs in each of the first three innings and finishing with a total of 14 hits.  Josh Eastman's two-run double in the first plated Tyler Oren (2x4) and Cullen Oren (2x6), and RBI singles from Eastman and Tyler Oren in the second inning made it 4-0.  Zeimet and Aaron Laskowski drove in runs in the third, and Brennan Deegan (2x4) added another in the fourth.  Albion put the game officially out of reach in the sixth, when singles from Tyler Oren and Evan Deegan were sandwiched around Eastman's triple into left-center.  

Eastman would finish the game 4x5 with 4 RBIs, Tyler Oren scored three runs, and Austin Mades provided two RBIs and scored two runs as well.  Albion will open their Night League schedule this Thursday at Jefferson before continuing Southeast play at Deerfield next Sunday. 

TIGERS GET OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT -- For the fifth time in a row, the Albion Tigers and McFarland Muskies played a one-run ballgame - this time ending in a 4-3 win for Albion in the Southeast Section opener for both teams.  As always, it was a well-played game between two perennial contenders in the Southeast, and Albion's defending Home Talent League champions will now look for a 2-0 start on Saturday night at Evansville.

Visiting McFarland pushed a run across in the first, but Albion bounced right back with single tallies in each of the next two innings, when Cullen Oren scored on Josh Eastman's RBI single in the first and Austin Mades drove in Brennan Deegan an inning later.  The Tigers pushed the lead to 4-1 in the fourth on consecutive two-out hits from Cullen Oren, Tyler Oren, and Eastman.  

That lead would hold up, as Albion starter Jake Taylor was throwing 6.2 innings of three-run ball at the Muskies.  Taylor, making his first career start for Albion in Southeast play, struck out five Muskies and walked only one to earn the win.  He would give way to Eastman during a McFarland rally in the seventh, but Eastman worked out of the jam and faced only 8 batters to earn a seven-out save.  

TIGERS READY FOR TITLE DEFENSE -- The Albion Tigers spent a nearly-perfect weekend in Cottage Grove, tuning up for the 2017 season by finishing second in the eight-team Clarence Buss Tournament.  The Tigers will now take a week off before opening their Southeast Section schedule on May 7 at home against McFarland.

The Tigers started the weekend on Saturday with a 12-0 mercy-rule win against Marshall.  Albion wasted no time in getting started, grabbing a 4-0 lead in the top of the first powered by a mammoth two-run homer by Austin Mades.  The Albion catcher would add two more RBIs later, as would Josh Eastman and Tyler Oren.  While his teammates were banging out 12 hits, Jake Taylor was shutting down the Firemen, allowing only one hit and one walk over four innings to earn the win.  Cameren Wileman finished up the moundwork with a perfect fifth inning.

Sunday's semi-final 9-6 win over West Middleton provided yet more offensive highlights and solid pitching.  Aaron Laskowski went 4x4 with a triple and two RBIs, Tyler Oren had two hits and two runs, and Brennan Deegan reached base four times.  Jake Zeimet chipped in two RBIs as well, but did his best work on the mound, allowing only one unearned run over 3.2 innings in relief of starter Bryant Schulte.

Albion advanced to the title game, an entertaining well-played game between two HTL contenders, which eventually went to DeForest 2-1 in extra innings.  Starting pitcher Josh Eastman was nearly perfect in his four innings of work, and Cullen Oren was almost as good in his 4+ innings of work.  Albion took a lead in the fourth when Tyler Oren led off with a double and was driven home by Mades, but DeForest scratched one across in the fifth and eventually got an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth to walk off as winners. 

The weekend certainly leaves the Tigers and their fans with a lot to look forward to in the coming season.  Laskowski was a hot hitter all weekend, going 8x12 and scoring five runs.  Cullen Oren (5x9), Tyler Oren (4x10), and Mades (five RBIs) led an offense in which 13 Tigers reached base.  Six Albion pitchers combined to allow only six earned runs over 19 innings, and the defense committed only three errors on the weekend. 



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