MANKATO — Jake Krier limped, hobbled and hitched his way through the Mankato Mets amateur baseball game Wednesday night and, while he didn't get any extra points for style, he proved to be valuable asset.
The veteran outfielder, who is nursing a stretched hamstring, smacked two hits and drove in three runs as the Mets defeated Henderson 10-5 in a non-league game at Franklin Rogers Park.
"I pulled it right before the fourth of July," Krier said. "We had about a week and half off so I was able to rest it right away and then I came back to DH against Waseca."
"I've been playing off and on ever since. It would be nice if I could just DH but we're getting low on players so sometimes I have to go into left or right field."
Mets player/coach Josh Anderson said he's fortunate to have Krier in the lineup.
"He's just kind of gutting it out and pushing through it," Anderson said. "He still hits the ball pretty well even with the hamstring. We just have to be careful how we use him in the field."
Henderson got to Mets' starter Adam Rajtar for three runs in the first inning with the help of a sacrifice fly by Greg Graham and a two-RBI double by Matt Nagel. The Mets responded with a four-run second inning and a two-run third and never relinquished the lead.
An RBI double by Seth Allan, a two-run double by Dan Larsen and an RBI single by Todd Rasmussen highlighted the second-inning rally. In the third, Krier stroked a two-run single to right.
Rajtar settled down after the first frame, pitching three scoreless innings before the Tigers got to him for two more runs in the fifth. He ended up with the win, throwing a seven-hitter through five innings, striking out six and walking four.
"After the first he started getting his pitches down low and finding his spots," Anderson said of Rajtar. "He kept us in the game and that's all we asked him to do."
Larsen and Darin Hendley followed Rajtar with two shutout innings apiece. The Mets added three insurance runs in the sixth as Anderson lofted a sacrifice fly and Sam Stier and Krier each had RBI singles.
Seth Allan drove in Mankato's final run with a ground out in the eighth. Adam Geiger, Anderson, Krier and Mitch Kleist finished with two hits apiece.
Nagel ended up 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs for Henderson. Graham had two hits.
The Mets (14-5) jump back into Southern Minny League action tonight with a 7:30 p.m. game at Owatonna.