By Bill Nelson

Photos via: Justin Braun/Justin Braun Photography

In the opening game of the Class B tournament, the Hopkins Berries defeated the Chaska  Cubs 3-0. 

The game was scoreless until the Berries collected their first four hits in the fifth inning. Mark Weesner started the inning with a walk, advanced to second on a passed ball, went to third on a single by Gavyn Schacher and scored on another single by Brock Zimmer. Brett Boxwell grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Schacher. The third run came in on the same play when the Chaska second baseman threw wild to first base, scoring Zimmer.  

Gabe Olson started for Hopkins, throwing seven strong innings, giving up just two hits to go with 10 strikeouts and eight walks. He ended with 135 pitches. 

“I usually go deep into games, not this deep. I usually don’t throw that many pitches, but my arm felt good so I thought I might as well,” he said. Gavyn Schacher threw the last two innings to earn the save,  striking out three and walking one.  

Chaska threatened in the second and third innings, as Olson walked the bases loaded in the  second and loaded them again in the third, but the Cubs couldn’t push across a run. Chaska recorded its only two hits of the game in the third inning. Drake Kilber was the hard-luck losing pitcher for the Cubs.  

Luke Pettersen and Alex Boxwell are co-managers of the Berries. They played together in  college at the University of Minnesota. 

“The Berries actually folded last year — they didn’t get  enough guys. So the story goes that on January something we were actually putting this team  together and we pulled it off,” Pettersen said. “It’s been a really fun summer and I’m jacked that we are able to win in the state tournament.” 

Asked about Olson struggling in the early part of the game Pettersen said, “As a guy that is  still pitching in college, we had to do what was best for him. I mean he was dealing but we had  to do what was best for him, too,” said Pettersen. “I said, ‘You tell me when you’re done and I’ll take you out of the game.’” 

Olson lasted long enough to impress everyone.  

Hopkins plays the winner of the St. Anthony Hogs and the Moorhead Brewers on Saturday,  Aug. 28 at 1:30 p.m. at a site to be determined. 

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