TRAER — The oddest of sparks helped keep Hudson’s postseason flame burning Saturday night in a 3-2 victory over Gladbrook-Reinbeck in a Class 1A district baseball final.
Hudson junior CJ Christopher and Gladbrook-Reinbeck freshman Tyler Tscherter locked up in a pitching dual, and both put zeroes on the scoreboard for the first three innings.
Alex Hageman started a two-run fourth for the Pirates with a double to center and later scored along with Trey Jochumsen on John Colsch’s two-run single.
The lead was short-lived.
Tscherter led off the Rebels’ fourth with a single and scored on Joe Smoldt’s triple to right. Smoldt then scored on a ground out later in the inning to knot it back up at 2-2.
“That was great to put us right back in the ball game,” said Rebels head coach Scott Kiburis. “I was really confident at that point.”
So was Tscherter, who continued his dominance into the seventh, striking out eight Pirates. But the seventh was where Hudson caught a key break against the freshman.
A dropped third strike allowed Colsch to get on base. He moved to second on Dylan Petersen’s bunt single with no outs. A sacrifice bunt by Jacob Myers and a sacrifice fly by Andrew Mohr produced what proved to be the game-winning run.
“You never know how things are going to fall and that’s just it,” said Hudson head coach Joe Bahnsen. “Call it dumb luck, whatever you want to call it, a hop in our favor even. But it worked out.”
Christopher closed out the complete game victory with one of his four strikeouts on the night.
“Seeing how bad these guys wanted to win it in the top half gave me confidence,” said Christopher.
Despite the lights out pitching the Rebels received from Tscherter, their season ended at 15-9.
“It’s weird that we pitch so well all tournament and it ends up being a strikeout that gets us beat,” said Kiburis. “There isn’t anything to regret though, it was as close a game as I could think of.”
The Pirates (17-16) move on to face perennial power Kee High of Lansing Tuesday in Waverly for a chance to go on to the state tournament
Christopher and his teammates have a chance, and that’s all they want.
“Records don’t matter now,” said Christopher. “It’s whoever shows up, this team against that team. If we play our game, we’ll win.
Hudson 3, Glad.-Reinbeck 2
Hudson 000 200 1 — 3 6 1
Glad.-Rein. 000 200 0 — 2 4 0
Tyler Tscherter, Kyle Koppen (7) and Walker Thede. CJ Christopher and Izik Rodriguez. 2B—Alex Hageman (Hud). 3B—Joe Smoldt (G-R).