CLASS C ROUNDUP AT DELANO: Green Isle, Loretto advance to the second round

By Eric Kraushar

news@mnbaseball.org

A two- or three-run lead certainly looks nicer than a one-run lead; just ask Green Isle.

Nate Hartmann’s two-run double in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the difference in the Irish’s 4-3 win over Jackson Saturday in Delano.

The Bulls, at state for the first time since 2018, mounted a ninth-inning comeback, scoring twice, and had the go-ahead and winning runs on first and second base with two outs, before a ground out ended the game.

Holt Hunziker, a draftee from Watertown, worked the final five innings in relief against a Jackson squad he once played on, for the win for Green Isle. Jack Jahnke started for the Irish, striking out four batters.

Green Isle took a 2-1 lead on a Walter Johnson run-scoring single in the sixth inning.

Easton Bahr and Andy Wolf plated back-to-back Jackson runs in the ninth inning after pinch hitters Alex Bretzman and Trace Michelsen started the rally with a walk and infield single.

Green Isle next faces Jordan at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26.

LORETTO 8, LUXEMBURG 3

A short drive to Delano, Loretto felt right at home in the nightcap, an 8-3 win over Luxemburg.

Familiarity wasn’t just limited to the ballpark. Loretto starting pitcher Miles Nablo was a key member of a Chanhassen Red Birds staff that won four consecutive titles between 2018 and 2021. Nablo was on cruise control it seemed until a wild sixth inning from Luxemburg.

Two outs, a runner in scoring position, a bloop single from Luke Schmidt started the scoring for the Brewers. The next batter, Will Boeckman, also reached on a single, with the first run crossing home plate ahead of the outfield throw. The second run on the play came home on a throw to second base that sailed into centerfield. 

A 3-0 deficit quickly wiped away.

Loretto, though, would score three more runs themselves in the eighth inning, the final two on a Ben Leuthner sacrifice fly and Nick Kulseth RBI-single. The Larks added two more runs in the eighth inning for the final score.

Nothing happening early on, Loretto’s top of the order came to life the second and third times through the batting order. Back-to-back RBI singles from Kulseth and Keenan Hodgkin chased Luxemburg starter Reed Pfannenstein in the fifth inning. Leuthner plated Brandan Brolin after he doubled in the third inning.

Brolin collected three of the Larks’ nine hits, which included two doubles with an intentional walk as well. Along with Brolin’s two RBIs, Loretto’s top-three hitters of Leuthner, Kulseth and Hodgkin did much of the damage, totaling five RBIs.

Andrew Kemper, called into duty for the final out of the seventh inning, earned the win for Loretto, going 2 ⅓ innings. Nablo struck out eight batters in giving up two earned runs on six hits with three walks.

Just three of the eight runs were earned off the Luxemburg pitchers, Pfannenstein and reliever JT Harren, who combined for 11 strikeouts.

Loretto will face St. Martin on Sunday, Aug. 27 in the second round.

Check out additional content below