Class 2A Baseball: 6-run fifth inning sparks Pioneers to third in state
ST. CLOUD--Aaron Weber's 2-run double highlighted a 6-run Pierz fifth inning and the Pioneers went on to defeat the Maple Lake Irish 11-4 for third place in the Class 2A state tournament Friday at Dick Putz Field.
ST. CLOUD-Aaron Weber's 2-run double highlighted a 6-run Pierz fifth inning and the Pioneers went on to defeat the Maple Lake Irish 11-4 for third place in the Class 2A state tournament Friday at Dick Putz Field.
Weber scored on an error before David Skiba's RBI single and Lane Girtz's sacrifice fly gave Pierz an 8-1 edge in the fifth. An error made it 9-1 Pierz.
In their first state tournament since 1986, the third-seeded Pioneers finished 23-5, winning state tournament games for the first time in program history.
Pierz was led by Noah Boser and Lane Girtz with two hits apiece.
Girtz, Aaron Weber and Kolton Eischens each drove in two Pierz runs.
Weber, Matt Kummet and David Skiba combined to pitch a 5-hitter with 10 strikeouts. Weber got the win allowing one hit and one earned run with four strikeouts and two walks. Kummet worked 2.1 innings allowing three earned runs and three hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Skiba went the final 1.2 innings allowing one hit and striking out two. Skiba didn't yield a run or a walk.
In the fourth, Michael Meyer's RBI single and a bases-loaded walk to Kolton Eischens put Pierz ahead 3-1.
Girtz ignited the Pioneers with a solo home run in the bottom of the first.
Blake Wellsted's solo shot in the Maple Lake third tied the score for the fourth-seeded Irish.
Maple Lake 001 003 0- 4 5 4
Pierz 100 262 x-11 11 1
WP: Aaron Weber. LP: Nick Preisinger. 2B: P-Aaron Weber. HR: P-Lane Girtz. Overall: Pierz finishes 23-5.
Minnehaha 4, Pierz 2
The Pioneers battled the weather and the second-seeded Minnehaha Academy Redhawks for five hours in the semifinals of the Class 2A state tournament Friday at Dick Putz Field.
When all was said and done, the Pioneers were on the short end of a 4-2 score in their first semifinal appearance at state. The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak for the Pioneers.
Lightning and rain delayed the 2:30 p.m. start for two hours and lightning delayed play twice more in the first two innings for 30 minutes each time per MSHSL rules.
Pierz got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the first when Matt Tautges walked, went to second on a ground out and scored on a Redhawk error.
After the third lightning delay of the game, the Redhawks drew walks to their first two hitters to start the third. Two more walks, two hits and a Pioneer error led to a 4-1 lead before the ninth batter of the inning, Kenny Kiratli, finally flew out to center field for the final out with two left on base.
The Pioneers were retired in order in the fourth and fifth innings.
Minnehaha changed pitchers to start the bottom of the sixth with Alex Fedje-Johnson taking over on the mound from starter Alex Evenson who struck out six and allowed just one hit and an unearned run over five.
Lane Girtz led off with a single, but was retired on a fielder's choice by Matt Tautges. Tautges advanced to third on Noah Boser's single and scored on Aaron Weber's single.
A ground out by Matt Kummet and Brett Kapsner strikeout ended the Pioneer rally with two left on.
Nick Herold reached on catcher's interference with two out in the Pierz seventh but a fly out to right field by Lane Girtz ended the game.
Starter Kolton Eischens took the loss pitching 2.2 innings allowing four hits and four runs (only one earned) while striking out one and walking five. Matt Tautges and Lane Girtz pitched in relief.
Fifth-ranked Minnehaha Academy is 26-3 and has won nine of its last 10 games. The Redhawks were the 2A state runner-up last year and face Belle Plaine 1 p.m. Monday at Target Field for the 2016 Class 2A championship.
Minnehaha 004 000 0 - 4 5 2
Pierz 100 001 0 - 2 4 1
WP: Alex Evenson. LP: Kolton Eischens. 2B: P-Matt Tautges.