Rochester John Marshall’s consistent offense and strong pitching contributed to a 10-0 rout of the Winona Senior High School Winhawks in the final regular season game of the year Thursday, May 26.
John Marshall was led defensively by pitcher Alex Nelson. In addition to hitting a home run in the fourth inning, Nelson pitched a complete game, three-hit shutout against the Winhawks (7-13 overall). Nelson also recorded seven strikeouts.
“Not being able to hit is always a concern,” Winhawks Coach Matt Smith said. “We haven’t been able to hit every day with this strange spring, but that’s not an excuse. We have to hit better.”
Rochester proved consistent at both aspects of the game. Along with their solid defense, the only inning in which they did not score a run was the first. For the rest of the game, they barraged the Winhawk defense with hits, including home runs in the third and fourth by Daniel Chihak and Nelson.
The game sealed up the Big 9 title for the Rockets, who ended the season 15-5.
The Winhawks had four different pitchers rotate in throughout the game, including some that threw their first innings of the year.
“We wanted to play them tight, but we didn’t want to burn the team out before the playoffs,” Smith said. “Everyone’s in the same boat now, and everyone’s record is 0-0.”
The Winhawks will now go to Albert Lea on Saturday, May 28 for the sub-section tournament, which is single elimination. Smith expressed confidence in their chances against Albert Lea despite two losses to them during the season.
“We’re not going to be intimidated,” he said. “We played them close both games during the year. This team is senior-dominated, and it’s time for the seniors to step up.”