Class C roundup Saturday at Waconia: Alexandria stuns Kimball in 11 innings

By Dana Melius

ScoreMonster Contributor

news@mnbaseball.org

Alexandria moved on with a stunning 2-1 extra-inning victory over the Kimball Express in Game 3 Saturday in Waconia.

Kimball Express starting pitcher Ben Johnson was heading toward another shutout and cruising through the Alexandria Black Sox order, allowing just one hit and striking out 12 through eight innings. Then everything turned bad for the Express in the bottom of the ninth.

It got worse in the 11th, as storm clouds rolled into Lions Field.

In that critical ninth inning, Travis Krueger led off with a single, just the second hit off Johnson. After Johnson’s 12th strikeout, a hanging curveball nipped Black Sox DH Blake Stockert to put runners on first and second. An Eric Carlsen single loaded the bases.

That chased Johnson, who had opened the Class C first round with a 10-strikeout, five-hitter win over Union Hill. Jordan Joseph relieved and got Carter Stockert on strikes for the second out. But Alexandria’s Brett Savelkoul ripped a slow curve from Joseph to score Travis Krueger. But Blake Stockert was easily thrown out at the plate and the game moved on to extras.

After a scoreless 10th, Kimball’s Brooks Marquardt — the Express’ number nine hitter — reached base for the fourth time in the game following a throwing error by Black Sox shortstop Chris Curry, the game’s first miscue. But then in another critical play in the game, Marquardt appeared to advance to second on a Dylan Haskamp wild pitch. But Marquardt slid past the bag and was tagged out.

Austin Ruehle followed with his second single of the game. Tommy Friesen flied out to left field to end the inning, but Marquardt might have been able to score the go-ahead run on one of those two at-bats.

Instead, Alexandra moved on to win in the bottom of the 11th. Blake Stockert was hit by a pitch for the second time and advanced on Carlsen’s sacrifice bunt. Carter Stockert was also hit by a pitch from Kimball pitcher Jordan Joseph. That brought in lefty Zach Dingmann from the bullplen. 

A walk to Savelkoul loaded the bases, and on the first pitch to leadoff hitter Chris Curry, yet another hit batsman abruptly ended the extra-inning affair.

Haskamp, a Sauk Centre Titans draftee, earned the win on the mound for Alexandra with five scoreless innings in relief of Blake Stockert, who went the first six. Haskamp struck out seven, walked two and gave up just two hits.

Stockert’s control troubles, with five walks, produced a high pitch count through six innings. He struck out five but gave up just the one run on six hits.

Jordan took the loss for Kimball.

Marquardt led the Express on offense, going 3-for-5 and scored the lone Kimball run on a Joseph RBI single. Ruehle added two hits. No Black Sox hitter had more than one hit.

Alexandria moves on to a third-round matchup on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 1:30 p.m. in Chaska versus the Maple Lake Lakers, who eliminated the Jordan Brewers 2-0.

The 7 p.m. game in Waconia between the New Ulm Brewers and Spring Hill Chargers was postponed due to storm conditions and was rescheduled for Sunday at 7 p.m.

Watkins 5, Princeton 0

Watkins’ Geislinger clan led the Clippers to a 5-0 second-round victory over the Princeton Panthers in Game 2 Saturday at Waconia.

Matt Geislinger tossed a five-hit shutout, striking out nine and walking just one. He had strong command of the strike zone, keeping Princeton hitters off stride with a good fastball and biting slider.

Nolan Geislinger, the Clippers’ sophomore shortstop, who shared Player of the Game honors with Matt Geislinger, had a solid game in the field and scored twice from his leadoff spot.

Carson Geislinger added a big two-run double in the eighth inning. He scored a run and stole home, teaming up with Nolan Geislinger for a double steal from a first-and-third situation.

The Clippers opened scoring in the bottom of the first without a run on Dan Berg’s sacrifice fly. It stayed that way through six innings as Matt Geislinger and Princeton’s Damon Rademacher dueled.

Rademacher pitched out of some tight spots in the fifth in six innings before the Clippers finally chased the right hander. Rademacher struck out eight, issued just one walk, and gave up two earned runs on six hits over seven innings.

Watkins chipped away for a single run in the seventh inning to take a 2-0 lead, then came Carson Geislinger’s big two-run double to provide some insurance runs in the 8th.

The Clippers’ Kevin Kramer added a 2-for-4 game on a single and boule with an RBI in the seventh inning. Justin Thompson chipped in with a 2-for-3 performance and scored a run.

Watkins next takes on St. Martin, who took a 1-0 win over Fergus Falls despite no hits. Watkins plays St. Martin in a third-round matchup at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4 in Chaska.

St. Patrick 10, Austin 0

It took a few innings but the St. Patrick Irish lived up to their traditional big offense and put away the Austin Greyhounds in Saturday’s opening game at Waconia.

Irish starter Collin Denk pitched a gem, allowing just one hit over seven innings. Denk struck out nine. He gave way to lefty teammate Luke Tupy, who pitched only one inning, getting out of a bases-loaded jam to preserve the shutout.

Kyle Rhodus ripped a two-run double in the eighth inning to put away the Greyhounds 10-0. Rhodus had a big day at the plate for St. Patrick, going 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles to go along with the two RBI and two runs scored. 

The Irish, who are making their 17th state tournament appearance since 1982 and fourth consecutive, put together four runs in the fifth, and two each in the next three innings to end the game by the mercy rule. While the Irish had just seven hits they benefitted from some Austin fielding miscues and wild pitches.

Seth Ambroz helped pace the St. Patrick offense, going 2-for-3 with two RBI, scoring a run and walking twice. Jace Westman also scored twice, while Zak Endres and Jack Friedges added RBIs. 

Alex Ciola and Eric Torres had the lone hits for Austin. Yean Carlos Gil took the loss for the Greyhounds. He tossed four scoreless innings to match Denk early but ran into trouble in the fifth.

St. Patrick moves on to take on Young America, an 11-3 winner over the Ortonville Rox in Chaska’s opening Saturday game. It’ll be the Irish vs. the Cards on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 4:30 p.m.

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