Area Baseball: Pillager secures first state tournament trip - Pierz returns in Class 2A
PIERZ--On May 18, the Pillager Huskies dropped a 10-1 contest to Royalton and were staring at an 8-10 record. Seven straight wins later the Huskies, the No. 5 seed in the West Subsection, defeated West No. 1 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 13-3 for the ...
PIERZ-On May 18, the Pillager Huskies dropped a 10-1 contest to Royalton and were staring at an 8-10 record.
Seven straight wins later the Huskies, the No. 5 seed in the West Subsection, defeated West No. 1 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 13-3 for the second time in the Section 5-1A Tournament and will be moving on to the state tournament for the first time in program history.
The Wolves entered the tournament ranked ninth in Class 1A but they were tamed by the Huskies 14-1 May 30 in a section playoff matchup.
WHA opened the championship game Thursday with five straight hits scoring two runs in the top of the first. But courtesy of five walks, two Wolves errors, then a double from Braeden Wangsness and singles from Bo Kruchten and Ridge Hunstad, the Huskies surged to a 10-2 edge after one inning.
Working with an 8-run lead, winning pitcher Sam Jensen went five innings and gave up just one walk while striking out four batters and giving up three earned runs.
Josh Doss knocked in three runs, Hunstad finished 2-2, and Wangsness, Doss and Tyler Wilcox each doubled to lead the Pillager offense.
During their 7-game winning streak the Huskies are averaging 14.5 runs per game.
"It was quite a wow feeling for our kids and what they accomplished," Pillager head coach Jacob Mehr said. "We have been on a great run and the kids know that there is something still out there that we are playing for."
Pillager will play at the Mini Met in Jordan in the Class 1A state tournament June 15-16. The championship game will be played at Target Field June 19.
Pillager 13 7 1
W-H-A 3 8 3
WP: Sam Jensen. LP: Phil Kangas. 2B: P-Braeden Wangsness, Josh Doss, Tyler Wilcox. Overall: P 15-10. Next: Pillager in Class 1A state tournament at Mini Met, Jordan, June 15-16; state championship game at Target Field, Minneapolis, 10 a.m. June 19.
Pierz 4, Foley 2
ST. CLOUD-Matt Tautges' complete game and Preston Rocheleau's three hits and RBI pushed the Pierz Pioneers to the Section 6-2A championship Thursday with a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the Foley Falcons at Putz Field.
Tautges allowed two runs (1 earned) on six hits with 11 strikeouts. He intentionally walked one and hit two batters.
Luke Girtz's 2-run triple in the fifth helped Pierz erase a 1-0 Foley lead. Lane Girtz finished 1-for-3 with a double. Matt Kummet was 2-3 with a double and Brett Kapsner contributed an RBI groundout.
Foley, ranked 16th in 2A, finished 17-9. The Falcons beat Pierz 9-1 in the section tournament June 5. The Pioneers beat Foley 2-1 during the regular season.
Pierz -4 9 1
Foley-2 6 0
WP: Matt Tautges. LP: Alex Foss. 2B: P-Lane Girtz, Matt Kummet. 3B: P-Luke Girtz. Overall: P 24-2. Next: Pierz in Class 2A state tournament June 15-16 at St. Cloud, state championship game at Target Field, Minneapolis, 1 p.m. June 19.
Pierz 3, Foley 0
ST. CLOUD-Preston Rocheleau struck out eight, walked one and allowed five hits as Class 2A's third-ranked Pierz Pioneers blanked Foley 3-0 in Game One in the Section 6-2A championship round Thursday at Putz Field.
At bat, Rocheleau was 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the third.
In the fifth, a bases-loaded walk to Brett Kapsner forced in the final Pierz run.
Foley 0 6 1
Pierz 3 4 1
WP: Preston Rocheleau. LP: Alec Dietl. 2B: P-Matt Tautges.
Duluth Marshall 2,
SUPERIOR, Wis.-Wyatt Sanford pitched six solid innings and combined with brother Jeb to limit Duluth Marshall to five hits but the Hilltoppers prevailed for a 2-1 victory in the championship game of the Section 7-2A tournament Thursday.
Wyatt Sanford permitted four hits and two runs (1 earned) in 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and five walks. Jeb Sanford threw nine pitches, allowed one hit and struck out one.
Sam Peterson, Jeb Sanford, Caleb Curtiss, Logan Cluff and Dylan Quade each had one hit for Class 2A's 12th-ranked Gobblers who finish 22-5.
Duluth took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Joey Peters' RBI groundout.
Aitkin opened the scoring on Jeb Sanford's RBI single in the first.
In the top of the second, Duluth tied it 1-1 on Peters' one-out RBI single.
Derrick Winn allowed no earned runs with six strikeouts and four walks to get the complete-game win for 15th-ranked Duluth which is 18-5 and has won eight in a row on its way to its first state tournament.
Aitkin, which beat Duluth 3-2 during the regular season, lost 7-6 to the Hilltoppers in the third game of the section tournament June 1.
Thursday's playoff game was Aitkin's seventh in nine days.
Duluth 2 5 1
Aitkin 1 5 2
WP: Derrick Winn. LP: Wyatt Sanford. Overall: Aitkin finishes 22-5.