Minnesota High School Baseball Champions Crowned at Target Field
It was a picture perfect day for baseball at Target Field Friday when four State Champions were determined with some great games.
Class A game was aired on KDHL Radio with the all-Gopher Conference contest having everyone on the edge of their seats.
A ton of orange clad fans were behind the third base Randolph dugout and there was a sea of blue and gold behind defending State Champion Hayfield's dugout.
The Rockets prevailed 2-1 in the pitcher's duel between senior Nolan Klocke of the defending State Champion Vikings and Jacob Weckop of the Rockets.
The official scorer ruled 4 Hayfield errors meaning each team finished the game officially with 3 hits.
Hayfield was the top seed in the tournament, Randolph the #2 seed.
The Vikings opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. With one out sophmore Aiden Nelson walked and gained second base on a ground out by junior Ethan Pack. Sophmore Zander Jacobson smacked a RBI single to left field then stole second base.
Randolph answered in the top of the third inning when junior Collin Otto clubbed a single up the middle. He was erased at second base on a ground ball off the bat of freshman Bray Olsen. Olsen then advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Senior Drew Jenkins hammered a RBI double in the gap. He advanced to third base on a wild pitch and was left there.
The Rockets scored in the top of the 5th inning when Otto reached first base on what was ruled as two fielding errors with one out. An error at first and right field as the ball rolled all the way to the fence. He ended up at third base. Otto would score on a passed ball so Randolph scored the eventual winning run with no hits in the inning.
Hayfield ended their season with a 24-3 record, two of their losses to Randolph. They were literally a hit away from back to back titles in baseketball and baseball.
The Rockets finished 25-1, their only loss to Gopher Conference Class AA foe Maple River in a 12-11 slugfest.
The Fairmont Cardinals (27-3) were the only top seed to win in their class blanking the unseeded Roseau Rams (19-7) by the score 7-0.
Senior Zachary Jorgenson allowed 2 hits, struck out 7 and walked 5 of the batters he faced while throwin 115 pitches. Jorgenson also hit two batters. Senior Brady Demars took the mound for Roseau going 5 2/3 innings. All six runs were unearned. He gave up 3 hits struck out 3 and walked 5 with 95 pitches, 54 strikes.
The game was scoreless going into the bottom of the 6th inning when the Cardinals erupted for all their runs.
The inning started with a walk by Zachary Jorgenson. Sophmore Nate Soelter reached on a throwing error while trying to execute a sacrifice bunt which allowed Jorgenson to score and Soelter to go to third base. Junior Jack Kosbab walked. Senior Gavin Rodning cracked a RBI single to left field. Junior Cooper Steuber bunted resulting in another error and a run scored with Steuber at second base. Another run scored on a throwing error by the pitcher. Following a pop out junior Landen Meyerdirk walked prompting a pitching change by the Rams.to sophmore Gavin Jensen.
His first pitch was a wild pitch advancing the runners. Senior Eli Anderson stroked a bases clearing triple in the left center field gap. Jorgenson then had a RBI single. Soelter walked. A fly out ended the inning.
7 runs were scored on 3 hits and 2 errors.
The Mankato West Scarlets (25-2) were ranked #1 all season and lost a heartbreaker against the Benilde-St. Margaret's Red Knights (24-3) 4-3 in 8 innings.
The game did feature the top two seeds in the tournament with the Scarlets getting the top seed. After the first round the teams flip a coin to determine who is the home or visiting team and B-S-M won the flip choosing to be home at Target Field.
That means it was a walk-off win in the bottom of the 8th for the Red Knights. Two singles led to the winning run. Senior Tomas Lee singled to left with one out followed by a senior Sam Monk single.
In the top of the 8th Mankato West loaded the bases with two outs and did not score.
Benilde-St. Margaret's scored a run in the second, two runs in the third. Mankato West tied the game by scoring two runs in the 5th and 1 run in the 6th inning.
The line totals were Mankato West with 3 runs, 6 hits, and no errors and B-S-M had 4 runs, 9 hits, and 2 errors.
The Scarlets left 9 runners on base, Red Knights 6.
The Stillwater Area Ponies (23-4) galloped past top seed Farmington (23-4) 8-1. Two Tigers pitchers allowed 8 hits. walked 5 and struck out 10 Ponies batters.
Senior Austin Buck got the win for Stillwater allowing 4 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks while going the distance. He threw 82 total pitches, 54 strikes.
Senior Kyle Hrncir went the first 2 2/3 innings for Farmington with 5 hits allowed, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts in 63 total pitches, 34 strikes. Junior Owen Schmidt went the rest of the way 4 1/3 innings, 3 hits allowed, 4 runs, 2 earned, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts while throwing 63 pitches, 37 strikes.
Senior Mason Conrad had half of Farmington's hits in the game. The Ponies were led by 2 hit performances by seniors Brayden Hellum and Joshua Wallace.
That's a wrap on the 2022 spring high school baseball season.
Seems appropriate to check this out if you are a baseball fan.