The St. Patrick Irish will play tomorrow in Springfield against the Fairmont Martins for the Minnesota Class C Amateur Baseball Championship.  Thanks in large part to the pitching of draftee Joey Grote of the Faribault Lakers.

Grote threw the final two innings in a 2-1 win over Bluffton for the save and came in relief in a 6-4 victory over Young America to earn the win.  Grote tossed 6 1/3 innings and allowed just one hit to help the Irish advance to the title game 1:00 p.m. Monday.

Grote did pitch more this season for the Lakers than in previous years.  Partly due to the inability of Jack Helgeson to go due to arm problems.  Faribault is better in the field when Grote is positioned at shortstop.

In the low scoring win over Bluffton every pitch was pressure packed.  Grote gave up 1 hit, struck out 2, walked 2 in the final two innings for the save.

St. Patrick scored 2 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Lead-off hitter Jack Friedges had two hits and an RBI.  #3 hitter Kyle Rhodus had the other RBI.  Zak Endres had 2 hits including a double and Ryan Friedges had a double in the 9 hit Irish attack.

The Braves had 7 hits, scoring their lone run in the top of the 6th inning.  Bluffton had 1 error, St. Patrick 2 errors in the intense battle in Milroy.

Phillip Garcia got the win for St. Patrick, going the first 7 innings, scattering 6 hits.  The one run was not earned.  He struck out 2 and walked 1.

In the semifinal win over Young America the Irish took a 2-0 lead after two innings.  Young America scored 4 times in the top of the third inning.  St. Patrick answered with 3 runs in the bottom of the inning and added an insurance run in the 4th inning while Grote shut down the Cardinals.

Young America had 5 hits in the game, no errors.  St. Patrick cranked out 10 hits with 1 error.  Christian Medick started the game for the Irish going 2 2/3 innings, allowing 4 hits, 4 earned runs with 2 strikeouts, 3 walks and a wild pitch.

Young America starter Josh Lenz also went 2 2/3 innings with 7 hits given up, 5 earned runs, two walks.  Draftee Christian Johnson of Cologne threw the final 5 1/3 innings with 10 strikeouts, 1 walk. 3 hits and 1 earned run.

St. Patrick was led offensively by Zak Endres with a hit and 2 RBI, one coming on a sacrifice fly.  Jordan Goracke had two hits including a double and RBI.  Matt Ambroz a pair of hits and RBI..  Ryan Friedges a pair of hits and RBI.  Jace Westman a hit and RBI.

Fairmont defeated the Buffalo Bulldogs 5-1 in their first game.  Tyler Tennyson went the distance allowing 3 hits and no earned runs.  He struck out 3 batters and walked 1 in the masterful performance.  Draftee Tyler Zwybohmer of Dassel-Cokato took the loss for Buffalo.

The Martins had 7 hits, 2 errors in the game.  Cleanup hitter Jon Traetow hammered a two run homer.  Luke Becker had a triple and 2 RBI.

In their second game Fairmont blew open a 2-1 contest with the Cold Spring Rockies by scoring 8 runs over the final 3 innings to win 10-3.

The Rockies downed Bemidji 10-1 to get to the semifinal game in Springfield.

The Martins amassed 3 doubles in the game.  Jack Waletich led the way with a double among his 3 hits leading to 4 RBI.  Derek Shoen had 2 hits, 2 RBI. Luke Becker 3 hits, 2 RBI. Jon Traetow had 2 hits including a double.  Ethan Hurn 2 hits.  Tyler Tennyson had 2 hits.  Blake Crawmer had a double in the 16 hit barrage.

This is the 15th trip to state for St. Patrick with no state titles.  Fairmont has been to the big dance 20 times with titles in 1930 and 1959.

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