For the past four games, the Brainerd Mighty Gulls have been able to edge their opponents with some last-minute heroics, sometimes in extra innings.
Monday night they got a taste of their own medicine as the Alexandria Beetles handed the Gulls a 4-3 loss in a 17-inning affair that snapped Brainerd's five-game win streak in a Northwoods League game at Mills Field.
Beetles shortstop Grant Zurmely recorded the game-winner in the top of the 17th to break a 3-3 stalemate that lasted for eight innings. It was his only hit of the night.
The Gulls loaded the bases in the bottom of the 17th with no outs thanks to bunt singles by Steve Adams and Tyson Hanish along with a walk to John Purdom, but a pair of strikeouts and a fly ball ended the Brainerd threat. The Gulls struck out 23 times in the game.
"I'm sure we set a league record of some sort for striking out," Brainerd head coach Kyle Crookes said. "It's going to happen, I guess, in a 17-inning game, but we struck out too many times and didn't put the ball in play enough. We needed to do that."
Joel Weaver picked up the win for Alexandria by pitching a scoreless 17th. Cory Hollenhorst started for the Beetles and yielded three runs on four hits and four walks while fanning 11 batters through seven innings.
Zach Sanchez took the loss for Brainerd, giving up one run on three hits and a walk through 1 2/3 innings. Devin Thomas started and pitched 7 2/3 innings, yielding three runs -- one earned -- on four hits and two walks while striking out five.
Alexandria picked up a run in the first, but the Gulls bounced back with two in the fourth and one in the fifth. Brainerd held that edge until the eighth when the Beetles plated two runs to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
Mighty Gulls owner Perry Platisha said, as far as he could remember, it was the longest game in which his team has been involved.
Alexandria 001 000 020 000 000 01 -- 4 8 3
Brainerd 000 210 000 000 000 00 -- 3 9 1
Alexandria -- Cory Hollenhorst, Pat Sitkins (8), Jesse Ingram (9), D. Dormanen (13), Joel Weaver (17) and M. Canosa, Jeff Werhun. Brainerd -- Devin Thomas, Trevor Berryhill (8), Dustin Braud (10), Brandon Freeborn (15), Zach Sanchez (16) and John Purdom. W -- Weaver (3-4). L -- Sanchez (1-1).
2B -- A-Gino Lollio, Derek Snell; B-Ryan McCarthy. 3B -- B-Purdom. SB -- A-Justin Nelson; B-Blake Denischuk. Sac -- A-Grant Zurmely; B-Matt Rebout, Ronnie Seets. RBI -- A-Zurmely 2; B-Tyson Hanish, Purdom, Rebout. LOB -- A 10, B 15. DP -- A 1, B 2.
Time -- 4:45. Attendance -- 1,339. Records -- A 14-10, B 16-8. Next game -- Brainerd hosts Mankato 6:05 p.m. today.
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