Class 1A Baseball: Fosston ends Pillager's state tournament run
CHASKA--Pillager's Joe Anderson went 2-for-3 as the Huskies were nipped 4-3 in eight innings by fifth-seeded Fosston in the consolation semifinals of the Class 1A state tournament Friday at Chaska Athletic Park.
CHASKA-Pillager's Joe Anderson went 2-for-3 as the Huskies were nipped 4-3 in eight innings by fifth-seeded Fosston in the consolation semifinals of the Class 1A state tournament Friday at Chaska Athletic Park.
Fosston won with two out in the bottom of the eighth. With the score tied 3-3, a throwing error put a Greyhound runner at third. Jess Sather, the Greyhounds' No. 3 hitter, singled up the middle, giving Fosston the victory.
Three Fosston runs were unearned as a result of six Pillager errors.
In the fourth, Anderson's 2-run infield single put the Huskies ahead 3-1.
"Joe hit a chopper between the pitcher and the first baseman," Pillager coach Jacob Mehr said. "They came to get (the ball) but nobody was covering one. They were kind of standing and looking at each other, and almost started talking, and our runner, Tanner Swenson scored from second base. He rounded third and saw them not paying attention, and the catcher kind of left home plate too, so Tanner took home. It was a great baserunning play."
In the bottom of the fourth, Brock Hemmesch's run-scoring single pulled the Greyhounds to within 3-2.
Sather's run-scoring single in the bottom of the sixth enabled Fosston to tie it 3-3. Sather finished 2-for-4.
Pillager opened the scoring in the first inning on Josh Doss' 2-out RBI single. The Greyhounds tied it 1-1 in their half of the first capitalizing on two errors.
Sam Jensen worked six innings for Pillager, allowing four hits and three runs but only one earned run. He walked six and struck out four.
Ridge Hunstad absorbed the loss. In 1.2 innings, he gave up three hits and one unearned run with no walks.
The loss ended Pillager's season and the first trip to state in program history.
"It was a terrific experience," Mehr said of the state tournament. "I'm really proud of our guys. We had a blast. We wanted to come down here and win some ballgames and it didn't happen. But there's not a better way to go down than losing by one in extra innings in the state tournament. We feel good about it."
Pillager, which finished 15-12, was the No. 5 seed in West Subsection 5-1A but marched to its first section baseball championship. The Huskies will return eight starters (including the DH) next season, 10 players in all.
"It was a special run," Mehr said of the season. "It's a testament to our guys' mindset and their attitudes. We can feel good about what we accomplished and I think we can carry it over to next season."
Next spring, the Huskies are moving up a class and have been assigned to Section 6-2A which includes schools like Pierz, St. Cloud Cathedral and Foley.
"The road will be much more difficult," Mehr said.
1A Consolation Semifinals
Pillager 100 200 00-3 5 6
Fosston 100 101 01-4 7 1
WP: Hunter Kroening. LP: Ridge Hunstad. Overall: Pillager finishes 15-12.