The Faribault Lakers, New Prague Orioles and Union Hill Bulldogs are among the elite eight teams remaining in the Class C Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament.

Faribault got another impressive pitching performance from their ace Matt Lane and beat defending State Champion Raymond 7-1.

Lane struck out 10 and allowed just 4 hits in the game.

He threw 107 pitches and walked just one batter.

Lane also collected a RBI single and RBI double and has had RBI hits in every game in the tournament.

The Lakers have the pitching to win this tournament.

Two more solid performers are on their team and of course they drafted three pitchers.

The only question is have they sat too long while Lane has dominated opponents.

Egan Bonde has pitched 79 innings this season and has an ERA of 2.16, Jack Helgeson has thrown 78 and 1/3 innings and has an ERA of 2.64.

Lane now has thrown 94 and 2/3 innings and has 111 strikeouts, 20 walks and an ERA of 1.24 on the season.

In the State Tournament he has thrown 26 innings and allowed 18 hits with 24 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 hit batters and only 5 earned runs.

Lane has thrown 324 pitches in the tournament, 232 strikes and of the 100 batters faced has delivered 68 first pitch strikes.

His ERA in the State Tournament is 1.73.

In Saturday night's win Faribault got Lane a lead early by scratching out a run in the first inning.

In fact Lane gave himself the lead with a two strike single scoring the speedy Christian Von Ruden from second base.

Von Ruden stole second during a strikeout of Joe Grote and on a 2-0 count Lane laced a single to right field.  There were two outs when Lane got his hit.

Raymond tied the game while collecting three hits in the third inning.  Two of them with two outs.

At one point Lane retired 11 consecutive batters and struck out 8 of them with his nasty slider.

Some of the swings from the defending state champions were comical.

The Lakers added a run in the fourth on an RBI double by Porter Sartor to score Ryan Archambault who walked with two outs.

A run in the sixth when Jack Helgeson led off the inning with a single then there were back to back walks and the starting pitcher for Raymond was replaced after throwing 99 pitches and loading the bases with nobody out.

HIs reliever did a masterful job of damage control.

Number nine hitter Mitch Johnson smacked an RBI single and that is the only run the Lakers would get in the inning.

They couldn't even get a sacrifice fly to get a crooked number on the board but Faribault erupted for four runs in the 8th inning to give Lane a six run cushion heading into the final inning.

All the damage in the 8th inning came after two fly outs started the inning for the Lakers.

Johnson was safe thanks to an error on the shortstop. (which I thought was a tough error. He did bobble the ball but from short he was by the second base bag and I felt did a good job to get to the ball.  These guys aren't professionals remember)

Blake Langerud singled and Christian Von Ruden had an RBI single,  Joe Grote was safe on an error scoring Langerud and Lane smacked an RBI double to finish the scoring.

Faribault is now 28-11 and will play the Lake Henry Lakers with a record of 20-6 at 1:30 p.m. today in Hamburg.  The game will be aired on KDHL Radio 920 AM with coverage beginning at 1:15 if we are on time.

New Prague plays Jordan at Norwood at 1:30 p.m. and Union Hill faces Bemidji at Norwood at 11:00 a.m.

If Faribault wins they would play tonight at 7:30 in Hamburg against the winner of the New Prague versus Jordan game in the semi-finals.

The state title game is 3:00 p.m. Monday in Green Isle and the Irish are in the elite eight and will play Kimball at 11:00 a.m. today in Hamburg.


In Class B Northfield ended the Dundas Dukes season with a one run victory on Friday night and plays at 5:00 p.m. against Moorhead in Green Isle.

Chanhassen defeated defending champs Miesville in the winner's bracket and has to be defeated twice in order not to win the title.

Miesville will face the winner of the Northfield versus Moorhead game at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Green Isle.

The title game is Noon Monday in Hamburg.

Crowd to my left in Norwood. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld