Class A State Tournament: Air Freight defeats St. Louis Park

Posted on August 8, 2015 by Trent Jackson

On a cloudy Saturday morning on day two of the 2015 Class A State Tournament, Air Freight Unlimited knocked out St. Louis Park by a score of 4-2 to advance to the next round.

Air Freight Unlimited, who during the offseason merged with the River Pirates, is composed of many college players from the University of St. Thomas. Air Freight finished in second place in the St. Paul League with a record of 8-6 during the regular season.

In a fast game, only about two hours long, St. Louis Park got the scoring started in the second inning. Matt Paulsen led off the inning with a base on balls, followed by a single from Dave Lindstrom. Chris Duda knocked a single to right to score Paulsen and Lindstrom, giving them a 2-0 lead.

In the fourth, Air Freight came back and scored three runs off four hits. First, Cory Quinlan singled through the left side and Charlie Soukup reached on a fielder’s choice, with Quinlan out at second. Nick Fuerst then smoked a double to deep left field, scoring Soukup to put Air Freight on the board. A bloop single from Kyle Lynch then scored Fuerst to tie the game at 2-2. Next, Tavier Simmons was granted second base after a throwing error from the St. Louis Park shortstop Mike Lueck. A “swinging bunt” by Jimmy Dolan then scored Lynch, giving Air Freight a 4-2 lead, which would be enough to hold out St. Louis Park for the rest of the game.

“This is pretty typical of our season. We battle hard and get some key hits. We have a lot of young talent,” said manager Dustin Wilhelmy.

Air Freight starting pitcher Drew Molin kept the St. Louis Park bats quiet, allowing just the two runs off five hits in six innings pitched to record the win. Eric Veglahn came in to relieve in the seventh inning and closed out the game, allowing just one hit with an impressive seven strikeouts, striking out the side in the ninth to earn the save.

Wilhelmy praised about Veglahn and the Air Freight pitching, saying: “He’s awesome, lights out. We have a real strong pitching staff. The more arms the better. We have a lot of young arms, and Eric is one of our top guys for sure.”

Air Freight now moves on to the double elimination round and will face the Skyline League champions, Continental Diamond Cutters tomorrow at 10 a.m.

“We have to keep going what we did today. We have to throw hard, throw strikes, get ahead early, and have some timely hits,” Wilhelmy said was the key to success for the rest of the tournament.

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