Saturday roundup in Chaska: St. Michael squeaks by Moorhead in day’s final game

By Mike Randleman

ScoreMonster contributor

news@mnbaseball.org

Moorhead may have had more scoring chances, but St. Michael capitalized at the right time.

Two runs in the top of the sixth inning were all it took for the St. Michael Saints to top the Moorhead Brewers, 2-1.

Moorhead outhit St. Michael 9-5, though it struggled with runners on base. It stranded a runner on third base in the first and fourth innings as both teams were stuck at two hits each until the sixth inning. 

The Saints got to Brewers starting pitcher Cole Christensen when Mark Hermes led off the sixth with a double. It came shortly after he broke his original bat fouling off a pitch. Later with the bases loaded and one out, a sharp grounder off the bat of Jack Carroll caromed off second baseman Brandt Kolpack to score a run on a tough play ruled an error.

David Ernst inherited the bases loaded with one out and limited the damage to one more run coaxed in on a Zachary Stamp walk.

St. Michael pitcher Jordan Krupke went 7 1/3 innings for the win. He allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out seven. His one run allowed came when reliever Marcus Krupke allowed a RBI double to Joe Hallock that scored Denver Blinn. Blinn doubled off Jordan Krupke to usher his exit from the mound.

Marcus Krupke retired the next two batters. He came through in another big moment in the ninth. Kolpack redeemed himself with a leadoff single in the ninth before he was taken off the bases on a routine double play up the middle the next at-bat.

Blinn led all batters with three hits. Tanner Adam and Kolpack added two for Moorhead.

Hermes led St. Michael with two hits.

The Saints advance to the quarterfinals 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hamburg. They’ll face the winner of the 11 a.m. Sunday game in Hamburg between the Burnsville Bobcats and New Market Muskies.

Victoria vanquishes Hamel

It wasn’t a home game for the Victoria Vics, but it was pretty close.

They stuck within the confines of Carver County to travel about seven miles southeast to Chaska Athletic Park for their 2021 Class B state tournament opener. With several former Chaska High School players playing at their old ball park, they looked comfortable downing the Hamel Hawks, 4-1.

Victoria starting pitcher Riley Sweeney was among the Chaska alums. He faced runners on first and third base with no outs in the bottom of the first inning. Sweeney coaxed a double play that conceded a run but limited the damage.

He settled in from there to go six innings with three hits, a walk, one earned run and eight strikeouts. Jack Garrison was even tidier in relief, allowing no hits and striking out eight in a three-inning save. 

A four-run top of the third inning was all Victoria needed at the plate. Trey Cavello singled to start the rally. Cole Sweeney was hit by a pitch and Carter Schmidt singled to load the bases. Joey Costello singled in a run, Matt Dolan was hit by a pitch for a RBI and another run was driven in by Jon Leighton in on a fielder’s choice.

Victoria outhit Hamel 7-3 led by a three-hit day by Cavello.

Tyler VanCise took the loss for Hamel. He lasted seven innings with seven hits allowed and all four runs earned to go with nine strikeouts and no walks. Austin Hageman retired the side in order in both innings of relief.

Hamel, the 1987 and 1997 Class B state champion, is back in Class B in 2021 after a recent stint in Class A that included a state tournament appearance in 2019.

Victoria made its fourth straight Class B state appearance and advanced to the second round for the second time in that span.

The Vics advance to the quarterfinals 4 p.m. Aug. 28 in Hamburg. They’ll face the winner of the 4:30 p.m. Sunday game between the Champlin LoGators and Hampton Cardinals.

Chanhassen rolls in state tournament opener

The quest for a fourth straight Class B state title continues for the Chanhassen Redbirds.

They advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-1 win over the Moorhead Mudcats Saturday at Chaska Athletic Park.

Zach Hoffmann set the tone early with a two-run home run to left centerfield in the bottom of the first inning as part of a four-RBI day.

Hoffmann singled in another run in the third followed by a Riley Johnson sacrifice fly in the frame. The Red Birds plated another run on a wild pitch in the fifth.

Aaron Pfaff clubbed a ground rule double in the sixth to score another run. He had two ground rule doubles on the day and joined Hoffmann with three hits.

Moorhead’s best scoring threat early on came in the first with two runners on against Chanhassen righthander John Straka. 

Straka got out of the jam and did not allow another hit after the first inning. He went seven innings with one walk and 11 strikeouts.

Hoffmann capped his day driving in another run on an eighth-inning single. Another run came in on the play on an error.

Caleb Saari took the loss for the Mudcats, allowing six runs, all earned, on seven hits with five walks and five strikeouts.

Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe got Moorhead on the board with a RBI single in the eighth.

Chanhassen next plays 7 p.m. August 28 in Hamburg against the winner of the 1:30 p.m. Sunday game in Hamburg between the Rochester Royals and Forest Lake Brewers.

Chanhassen has won 15 straight since July 9.

Moorhead lost in round one of state for the third straight year.

East Grand Forks plates 7 in seventh for comeback win

The East Grand Forks Mass went from the wrong end of a no-hitter to posting a seven-run frame in less than an hour.

The Mass moved on to the Class B quarterfinals with a 7-1 win over the Anoka Bucs Saturday at Chaska Athletic Park.

Anoka’s Cam Kramer was tough to solve early on, even with the wind blowing out. He held EGF without a base runner until a leadoff walk in the fourth inning and without a hit until one out in the fifth.

The Bucs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when their first base runner of the game, Carter Chell, bunted for a single and advanced to third base on a pair of throwing errors on the play. JD Wells drove him in on a single.

East Grand Forks pitcher John Osowski shook it off to allow just one more hit the rest of the way and go 8 1/3 innings in the win.

The Mass sprung to action in the seventh. Nate Albrecht and Eric Graham led off with singles, just like they did in the fifth.

Kramer lost command to walk two batters and hit another to plate the first two runs. Reliever Taylor Nelson could not stop the bleeding inheriting a bases loaded, one-out scenario. He hit a batter, allowed a RBI single to Reed Hjelle, a sacrifice fly by Kevin Hatcher and two-RBI single by Neil Nagel. 

East Grand Forks advance to play 1 p.m. Aug. 28 in Hamburg against the winner of the Chaska Cubs and Miesville Mudhens. That game will resume 7 p.m. Sunday in Chaska with Miesville leading 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning after play was suspended Friday night due to inclement weather.

By Mike Randleman

ScoreMonster contributor

news@mnbaseball.org

The quest for a fourth straight Class B state title continues for the Chanhassen Redbirds.

They advanced to the quarterfinals with an 8-1 win over the Moorhead Mudcats Saturday at Chaska Athletic Park.

Zach Hoffmann set the tone early with a two-run home run to left centerfield in the bottom of the first inning as part of a four-RBI day.

Hoffmann singled in another run in the third followed by a Riley Johnson sacrifice fly in the frame. The Red Birds plated another run on a wild pitch in the fifth.

Aaron Pfaff clubbed a ground rule double in the sixth to score another run. He had two ground rule doubles on the day and joined Hoffmann with three hits.

Moorhead’s best scoring threat early on came in the first with two runners on against Chanhassen righthander John Straka. 

Straka got out of the jam and did not allow another hit after the first inning. He went seven innings with one walk and 11 strikeouts.

Hoffmann capped his day driving in another run on an eighth-inning single. Another run came in on the play on an error.

Caleb Saari took the loss for the Mudcats, allowing six runs, all earned, on seven hits with five walks and five strikeouts.

Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe got Moorhead on the board with a RBI single in the eighth.

Chanhassen next plays 7 p.m. August 28 in Hamburg against the winner of the 1:30 p.m. Sunday game in Hamburg between the Rochester Royals and Forest Lake Brewers.

Chanhassen has won 15 straight since July 9.

Moorhead lost in round one of state for the third straight year.

East Grand Forks plates 7 in seventh for comeback win

The East Grand Forks Mass went from the wrong end of a no-hitter to posting a seven-run frame in less than an hour.

The Mass moved on to the Class B quarterfinals with a 7-1 win over the Anoka Bucs Saturday at Chaska Athletic Park.

Anoka’s Cam Kramer was tough to solve early on, even with the wind blowing out. He held EGF without a base runner until a leadoff walk in the fourth inning and without a hit until one out in the fifth.

The Bucs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when their first base runner of the game, Carter Chell, bunted for a single and advanced to third base on a pair of throwing errors on the play. JD Wells drove him in on a single.

East Grand Forks pitcher John Osowski shook it off to allow just one more hit the rest of the way and go 8 1/3 innings in the win.

The Mass sprung to action in the seventh. Nate Albrecht and Eric Graham led off with singles, just like they did in the fifth.

Kramer lost command to walk two batters and hit another to plate the first two runs. Reliever Taylor Nelson could not stop the bleeding inheriting a bases loaded, one-out scenario. He hit a batter, allowed a RBI single to Reed Hjelle, a sacrifice fly by Kevin Hatcher and two-RBI single by Neil Nagel. 

East Grand Forks advance to play 1 p.m. Aug. 28 in Hamburg against the winner of the Chaska Cubs and Miesville Mudhens. That game will resume 7 p.m. Sunday in Chaska with Miesville leading 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning after play was suspended Friday night due to inclement weather.

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