CLASS B ROUNDUP SUNDAY AT LITCH: Stockmen’s corrals Moorhead Mudcats, Cold Spring & Knights win

By Nick Gerhardt

Stockmen’s Irish 8, Moorhead Mudcats 1

Stockmen’s Irish starter Ryan Duffy shoved and first baseman Brodie Paulson mashed in an 8-1 win over the Moorhead Mudcats Sunday at Optimist Park in Litchfield.

Duffy, a former University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State pitcher, threw a complete-game five-hitter while walking none and striking out 13. Paulson, a former Minnesota-Duluth player, finished 3-for-5 with four RBI, including a two-run blast to right field in the third inning. Joe Silversmith had a two-run double in the fourth inning and Jordan Hull had an RBI triple in the second inning.

Moorhead got on the board in the top of the eighth inning to end Duffy’s shutout bid.

The Irish move on to face Shakopee Sunday at 11 a.m. in Delano.

Cold Spring 7, North St. Paul 6

The second game of the day pitted age and experience versus youth as Cold Spring, owner of 60 state tournament appearances, faced off with first-time entrant North St. Paul at Optimist Park in Litchfield.

It proved a tug-of-war with the veteran know-how of the Springers grabbing a 3-0 lead through four innings by manufacturing runs. A Drew VanLoy sacrifice fly scored Brad Olson, who led off the second inning with a walk. A ground out from Jeron Terres scored Joe Dempsey, who followed Olson’s walk with a double.

Cold Spring added another run in the fourth after Olson singled and Dempsey drew a walk. VanLoy laid down a sacrifice bunt to put both in scoring position and Tate Wallet hit a sacrifice fly to score Olson. 

The Snowmen answered in the top of the fifth after collecting four singles, two of them infield hits. Adam Swedahl drove in two runs after Andrew Murphy drew a bases-loaded walk to make it a 4-3 game.

The Springers extended the lead with a three-run fifth with Brian Hansen and Drew Bulson collecting RBI base hits.

North St. Paul made it a one-run game in the top of the ninth. Andrew Murphy doubled in a run and a ground out made it 7-6.

Cold Spring faces St. Louis Park Saturday at 11 a.m. in Dassel.

Metro Knights 4, Sobieski 3, 10 innings

A pedestrian game turned into a wild finish as the Metro Knights held off Sobieski for a 4-3, 10-inning victory in Litchfield. 

The Knights held a 3-0 lead until the bottom of the ninth inning when the Skis staged a furious rally to tie the game. Matt Beier led off the inning with a single and Collin Eckman reached on an error after a throw to second base to start a double play sailed into center field. Joey Hanowski followed with a single to load the bases. 

Scott Litchy put Sobieski on the board with an RBI single and Dusty Parker followed with a base hit to make it 3-2 and keep the bases loaded. After a pair of strikeouts, Riley Hirsch drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game 3-3.

The Skis nearly had a walk-off win when Matt Filippi sent a ball to center field that Knights outfielder Bryce Campbell tracked down to make a game-saving diving catch to keep the game tied.

The Metro Knights regained the lead in the top of the 10th after Franklin Cruz reached on a lead-off single and Pierce Gritzmaker followed with a single. Cruz reached third on the single and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Josh Hatano for a 4-3 lead.

Sobieski still had a chance in the bottom of the 10th after Beier got hit by a pitch to start the inning. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and got to third on a fly ball to right field where the Knights made another dazzling defensive play when right fielder Jack Huberty made a leaping grab to save the game. A ground out to first ended the game.

Metro Knights starting pitcher Onas Farfan, who pitched in the Atlantic League the past two seasons, cruised through the first eight innings and limited the Skis to two hits. He struck out six through eight and finished the game with 10 strikeouts while walking three.

The Knights got a run in the fourth inning after Cruz doubled to right field and scored on a single from Hatano, who plays at Iowa Central Community College.

Gritzmaker, who just finished his first year at Winona State, clubbed a two-run home run to straight away center field in the eighth inning to make it a 3-0 game. Gritzmaker had struck out his first two at-bats and drew a walk before hitting the home run.

Jake Kapphahn threw well for Sobieski in the loss, going eight innings and allowing three runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out eight in the loss. 

The Metro Knights face Minnetonka Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Check out additional content below: