COKATO — Six runs in the top of the ninth inning gave Delano a 7-1 road win at Cokato July 7.
Ten batters came to the plate for the A’s in that ninth inning, which started with the game tied 1-1.
The first five batters all reached base and eventually scored.
After pinch-hitter Matt Carson led off the inning with a double, Nate Norman re-entered the game as the runner at second base. Norman moved to third on Marcus Wittmer’s bunt, and came home with the go-ahead run on James Otto’s ground-ball.
Otto reached on an error on the ground-ball. Younger brother Max Otto came on to pinch run, and moved into scoring position with a stolen base.
Wittmer and Max Otto both scored on Adam Schleper’s double.
The lineup turned over to the top and the enslaught continued, as Brady Miller was hit by a pitch, and, with one out, Tyler Wolfe drew a walk to load the bases.
All three runners raced around the bases to make it 7-1 on Hunter Hart’s three-run double.
Cokato pitcher Steve Schmitt, who cruised through the first eight innings, gave up a single to Jack Paulson before being relieved by Jacob Schmitz.
Schmitz needed one pitch to get out of the inning, as that one pitch induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Norman.
Delano’s first run scored in the top of the fourth inning, when Jack Paulson doubled home Hart with one out.
That run tied the game 1-1.
Cokato gained the game’s first lead in the bottom of the first inning on Eric Pokornowski’s lead-off home run off Jake Gleason.
That one pitch to Pokornowski was the only mistake thrown by Gleason, who pitched seven complete innings but had to settle for a no-decision after leaving with the game tied 1-1.
Gleason gave up seven hits and two walks, and struck out three.
The win went to Jeremy Maschino, who pitched the eighth inning in relief of Gleason. Maschino walked one.
Hart pitched the ninth for the A’s, striking out two and giving up a walk.
At the plate, Paulson led Delano with three hits. Wittmer and Schleper had two each.
Isaac Nelson led the Kernels with two hits.
The win moved Delano’s magic number to one, when it comes to securing the North Star League regular-season crown.
The A’s moved to 15-1 in league play and to 16-1 overall with the victory over the Kernels.