Class C roundup Saturday (Dundas): Friedges’ blast sends St. Patrick to final eight

By Nick Gerhardt

ScoreMonster Contributor

Photos via: NSPN.TV and Twin Cities Photography

The crack of the St. Patrick’s Ryan Friedges’ bat made it sound like something special but the entire crowd watched until the ball cleared the left field fence as Avon’s Cody Stich made a leap at the wall to prevent a home run. 

The ball cleared and sent the Irish soaring to a 5-4 victory on Friedges’ two-run walk-off home run Saturday in Dundas. It came after Jack Friedges led off the inning with a double.

St. Patrick advances to the final eight for the third straight year after trailing since the third inning against the Lakers. Friedges finished 1-for-4 with a run and two RBI for the Irish, who tallied eight hits for the game. St. Patrick moves on to face Delano Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Dundas.

The Irish trailed 4-1 after the top of the fifth inning but got a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to make it a one-run game.

Jack Friedges hit a leadoff single, stole second base and scored on a single from Kyle Rhodus. An error at first base allowed Seth Ambroz to score to make it 4-3. 

Collin Denk started for the Irish and threw the first six innings. He allowed four runs, three earned, on 11 hits, walked one and struck out three. Trevor Divinski came on in relief to throw three innings. He allowed two hits, walked none and struck out five.

St. Patrick turned three double playes in the game to get out of jams, including an inning-ending double play in the sixth with the bases loaded. 

Mitch McIntyre started for Avon and went 4 1/3 innings before giving way to Matt Swanson, a draftee from Upsala. McIntyre allowed two runs on five hits, walked five and stuck two. Swanson went 2 2/3 innings and gave up one hit while walking one and striking out one. Elian Mezquita took the loss after pitching the ninth inning.

St. Patrick took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Matt Ambroz singled to score Ben Taxdahl. 

Avon grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top of the third after Ryan Janzen reached on an error to start the inning, stole second and scored on a single from Matt Meyer. Caleb Curry reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a double from Riley Voit. 

Avon added to the lead in the fifth inning when Mezquita doubled with the bases loaded to put the Lakers up 4-1. 

Avon had 13 hits in the game. Matt Meyer led the Lakers, going 5-for-5 with an RBI and a run. Reese Gregory had two hits and Curry scored a pair of runs.

Buckman 8, Waconia 5

It looked like a runaway victory for Waconia early but Buckman remained plucky and chipped away at an early deficit to turn it into an 8-5 win to advance to the final eight for the first time since 2019.

The Billygoats reached the final four after falling to eventual champion Jordan 4-3 in 2019. Buckman will meet Cinderella story Dumont in the elite eight Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Faribault.

Waconia grabbed a 5-1 lead after the third inning behind a three-run home run from Jake Hendricks in the third inning, a solo homer by Derek Martin in the second and an RBI single from Chris Bullis in the first.

Buckman pulled ace Matt Tautges after the third inning in favor of Drew Beier, a draftee from Foley. Beier came on and shut the door, firing six scoreless innings, striking out seven and allowing two hits while walking none.

The Billygoats got a run back in the top of the third inning after Jack Suska singled with one out and scored on a double from Noah Boser that fell behind shortstop. 

Buckman cut the lead to 5-2 in the fourth when Andrew Rueckert hit a solo home run to near straightaway center field. 

The Billygoats drew within a run in the fifth inning after scoring a pair of runs. Tautges and Lane Girtz singled to start the inning. Tautges scored on an Aaron Weber groundout and Girtz scored on wild pitch to make it 5-4.

Tautges rallied the Billygoats in the sixth to put them ahead 6-5 behind a two-run triple. Boser added a solo shot in the top of the seventh to extend the Buckman lead to 7-5.

Boser finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run. Tautges went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBIs while Suska finished 3-for-4 with two runs for the Billygoats, who finished with 15 hits.

Max Kalenberg went 2-for-4 with a run for the Lakers and AJ Friedrich went 2-for-3 with a run.

Jordan 3, Bluffton 1

For eight innings nothing worked at the plate for Jordan but in the ninth the Brewers turned to some small ball. 

Three bunts and a single vaulted Jordan to a 3-1 come-from-behind-victory over Bluffton Saturday in Dundas to send the 2019 state champions on to the final eight for the first time since that championship run. 

Jordan’s Nate Beckman and Braves starter Jake Dykhoff locked in a pitchers’ duel with Beckman escaping with the win after it looked like Dykhoff had Jordan under control for eight innings. 

In the top of the ninth trailing 1-0, Dylan Peterson coaxed a leadoff walk. Beckman laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached after the throw pulled Bluffton first baseman Wyatt Hamman off the bag. No. 5 hitter Scott Hollingsworth laid down a bunt single to load the bases and Afton Koch’s sacrifice bunt scored Peterson to tie the game 1-1. Michael Vohnoutka delivered the game-winning hit on a ball that landed behind first base to score Beckman and Hollingsworth.

Beckman finished the game with 117 pitches, giving up one run on three hits, walking one and striking out 10. 

The Braves scored in the fourth inning after Jake Dykhoff and Justin Dykhoff collected one-out hits. Hamann followed with an RBI single to right field. That lead held up until the top of the ninth. 

Jake Dykhoff looked poised to send Bluffton through to the final eight for the second consecutive year but the ninth undid his bid. He finished with 15 strikeouts in a complete-game effort and allowed three unearned runs on four hits with two walks. 

Joe Lucas reached base twice for the Brewers after a bloop single in the first and a walk in the eighth. Vohnoutka, Hollingsworth and Jonathan Draheim all had one hit for Jordan. 

The Brewers move on to face the winner of Nisswa-New Ulm Sunday in Dundas at 11 a.m.

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