Baseball State Tournament 2022: Day 1 Recap
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2022 - 10:46 PM
The road to the Minnesota State High School League’s Prep Championship Series began with 32 teams vying for a coveted spot in one of the four title games on Friday at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. Half of the field was successful in qualifying for the semifinals that are scheduled for Wednesday at four venues: Class A at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud and Class AA at the adjacent Dick Putz Field. Class AAA is being played Chaska Athletic Park and the Class AAAA field is at CHS Field in downtown St. Paul.
On a steamy day throughout Minnesota, the quarterfinals included drama, grand slams, late-inning heroics, and even a no-hitter in Chanhassen’s victory over Andover in the Class AAAA quarterfinals.
If you were unable to attend, here is a recap of Tuesday’s quarterfinals:
Hayfield 5, New Ulm Cathedral 4
Hayfield, the defending Class A champion, took its first step toward a possible title repeat with a 5-4 victory at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud. The Vikings (23-2) built a five-run lead with runs in each of the first three innings. Second baseman Kobe Foster was 3 for 3 with a run scored and right fielder Aidan Nelson was 2 for 4 with an RBI to help stake Hayfield to that lead. The runs were needed as New Ulm answered with three runs in the top of the seventh inning. Pitcher Carter Haala was 2 for 2 with a run scored and second baseman Isaiah Rieser had two RBIs for the Greyhounds (22-4).
Sacred Heart 10, South Ridge 4
Sacred Heart, the Section 8A champion, pounded out 13 hits en route to a 10-4 victory over South Ridge at Joe Faber Field. Centerfielder Cullen Rohrich led the way with three hits, two runs scored and two RBIs for the Eagles (22-4). Pitcher and third baseman Sam Gapp and rightfielder Nick Brundin also had two RBIs each. Pitcher and designated player Aaron Bennett had two RBIs for South Ridge (17-8).
Randolph 10, MACCRAY 0
Randolph, the No. 2 seed in the Class A field, manufactured 11 hits over four innings of batting to post a 10-0 victory over MACCRAY in five innings at Joe Faber Field. Pitcher, and later a designated hitter, Nathan Weckop had two RBIs to pace the Rockets (23-1) while infielder Andrew Jenkins, catcher Jacob Weckop and third baseman Will Baldus each rapped out two hits. Nathan Weckop struck out six of the 12 batters he faced. Centerfielder Gavin Husman, pitcher Brooks Asche and second baseman Ethan Strommer had a hit each for MACCRAY (15-7).
New York Mills 10, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 1
Centerfielder Jonah Johnson was 3 for 4 with five RBIs to power No. 3 New York Mills to a 10-0 victory over unseeded Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale at Joe Faber Field. In the third inning, the Eagles (23-3) extended a one run advantage to 5-1 with three runs. An inning later, that grew to 8-1 with three more. Jacob Guck scattered five hits and struck out five for New York Mills. Shortstop Joshua Johnson had the lone RBI for Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale (11-15).
Fairmont 8, Sibley East 3
Top-seeded Fairmont opened its 11th trip to the state tournament with an 8-3 victory over Sibley East in the quarterfinals at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. Third baseman Eli Anderson was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and three RBIs to power the Cardinals (25-3). First baseman Jack Kosbab chipped in two hits and also had three RBIs for Fairmont, who scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to build n 8-1 lead. Left fielder/shortstop Tucker Hendryks had a two-run homer for the Wolverines (17-6).
Rochester Lourdes 7, Wadena-Deer Creek 3
Joseph Perry was a dominant force on the mound when he struck out 11 batter, and from the plate, he drove in four runs with a double and a triple to send No. 5 Rochester Lourdes to a 7-3 victory over No. 4 Wadena-Deer Creek at Dick Putz Field. Rochester Lourdes (19-4) broke the game open with a four-run sixth inning in earning a spot in the semifinals. Pitcher/shortstop Josh Dykhoff was equally dominant for Wadena-Deer Creek (23-5) with 10 strikeouts on the mound and three hits at the plate.
St. Agnes 8, Watertown-Mayer 4
Shortstop Aidan Walsh blasted a grand slam in a five-run seventh inning that sent unseeded St. Agnes to an 8-4 victory over No. 2 Watertown-Mayer at Dick Putz Field. First baseman Dominic Smith added two RBIs and rightfielder John Patros and third baseman Landen Mickelson had two hits each for the Aggies (22-4). Infielder Benjamin Trucke had two hits and two RBIs for the Royals (20-6).
Roseau 13, Marshall School, Duluth 2
Shortstop Aaron Wenslof had two doubles and four RBIs and leftfielder Brady DeMars knocked in three to power Roseau to a 13-2 victory over No. 3 Marshall School, Duluth at Dick Putz Field. The Rams (18-6) scored three runs in three different innings and then broke the game open with four in the top of the seventh to advance to the semifinals. Isaac Wenslof gave up just four hits and struck out 14. Catcher Max Berisford knocked in a run for the Hilltoppers (17-6).
Mankato West 1, St. Francis 0
Top-seeded Mankato West went down to its last at-bat to avoid an upset and post a 1-0 victory over unseeded St. Francis at Chaska Athletic Park. Following 6.5 innings of scoreless play and a combined 17 runners left on base, the Scarlets engineered a two-out rally. Senior Louis Magers, who would record the victory from the mound, delivered at the plate with a two-out triple to the wall in right centerfield. One batter later, senior second baseman Avery Stock sent a sizzling groundball to deep second. He beat out the throw to first base, which was recorded as an error and not a hit. It mattered little to the Scarlets (24-1) because it permitted Magers to score from third. Magers struck out 10 and limited St. Francis (13-12) to six hits.
Alexandria 4, St. Thomas Academy 2
Alexandria, the No. 5 seed, turned three St. Thomas Academy errors into runs that helped pave the way to a 4-2 victory over the No. 4-seeded Cadets at Chaska Athletic Park. Left fielder Carter Lunge was 2 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI for the Cardinals (20-6). St. Thomas Academy third baseman Blake Fritz had a hit and two RBIs for the Cadets (19-8).
Benilde-St. Margaret’s 4, Winona 1
Leadoff hitter Caleb Koskie, a sophomore left fielder, had two of the four hits that No. 2 Benilde-St. Margaret’s could muster in a 4-1 victory over Winona at Chaska Athletic Park. The Red Knights (22-3) also were the beneficiaries of four errors in making their way to a semifinal berth. Owen Orndahl secured the victory, working six innings and striking out six. Third baseman Tyler Keiner had two hits for the Winhawks (14-11).
Grand Rapids 2, Mahtomedi 0
In a rematch of the Class AAA championship game from 2021, this time it was Grand Rapids’ turn to prevail. The Thunderhawks (17-6) survived Mahtomedi’s seventh-inning surge that loaded the bases but netted no runs in a 2-0 Grand Rapids victory. Shortstop Ren Morque was 3 for 4 with an RBIand Nolan Svatos scored both runs to send Grand Rapids (17-6) to a two-run advantage and needing just three outs in the bottom of the seventh. Mahtomedi (18-5), the No. 3 seed in Class AAA, open the bottom of the seventh with two hits and then loaded the bases with no out on an error. But senior pitcher Myles Gunderson kept calm and recorded a strikeout, an infield fly and a long flyball out to centerfield that looked like it may be trouble.
Farmington 3, Park 2
The Conrad brothers combined to propel top-seeded Farmington to a come-from-behind victory in the opening game Class AAAA field. Drew Conrad was 3 for 3 with an RBI and Mason Conrad singled home the winning run as the Tigers (22-3) rallied for the one-run victory. The Wolfpack (18-8) jumped on Tigers starter Zachary Dohrmann for a pair of first inning runs on a Micah Runion RBI single. The senior righty settled down from there to pitch a complete game, allowing just four hits while using 84 pitches. Farmington scored a run in the second. It stayed at 2-1 until the sixth. Drew Conrad’s third hit of the game plated a run to tie the game. One out later, Mason singled home the winning tally.
Maple Grove 5, St. Louis Park 2
Maple Grove took advantage of three unearned runs and used solid mound work to move into the semifinals with a 5-2 win over St. Louis Park. Tanner Albeck and Hunter Gerber were each 2 for 4 with a run scored to lead a nine-hit attack for the No. 4-seeded Crimson (20-4). Albeck also recorded a pair of stolen bases. Aiden McMahon, a senior righthander, went the first 4 1/3 innings, allowing just four hits while recording six strikeouts to earn the win. Aiden Hansen and Zan Vitense went the rest of the way with the latter recording a 1-2-3 seventh inning to earn the save. The trio recorded 10 strikeouts. Kristofer Hokenson, who hurled the first five innings, took the loss for St. Louis Park (18-8). Hokenson also had one of the Orioles’ five hits and a RBI.
Stillwater 6, Sartell 5
Stillwater erupted for six first inning runs and made them stand for a 6-5 win over Sartell at CHS Field. A 42-minute first inning saw both teams come out swinging. The Sabres (14-11) saw six of the first seven batters in their lineup reach base, resulting in three runs in the top of the inning with Blake Haus’ two-run single the key hit. The Ponies (21-4) bounced right back. Mason McCurdy and Jacob Carlson had RBI singles and Joshua Wallace, the eventual winning pitcher, adding a bases loaded hit that plated three runs to key the six-run reply. The Sabres crept back with a pair of solo runs in the third and sixth innings, but Brayden Hellum slammed the door shut, retiring the last five batters to earn the save. Wesley Johnson went the distance for the Sabres and took the loss.
Chanhassen 14, Andover 0
Josh Och threw a no-hitter and Chanhassen scored early and often in a 14-0 win over No. 3 Andover at CHS Field. The Storm scored three runs without a hit in the first inning and never looked back to improve to 17-9 overall. The Storm combined three walks, two wild pitches and an errant pickoff throw to grab an early 3-0 lead. They added three more in the fourth inning, one in the fifth and seven more in the sixth to put the game away. Mason Lang, Josh Costello and Carson Pollman, the 7-8-9 hitters in the batting order, combined for six hits, seven runs scored and four RBI as part of a 12-hit attack. Och, a junior righthander, did the rest. He hit two batters, walked four and fanned eight while using 96 pitches. Only one Andover runner advanced as far as third base.