The Blue Earth Pirates won two games over the weekend of Aug. 4-5 and continued to advance in the Region 4C Baseball Tournament.
Blue Earth won one game by a large margin, but had to come from behind to win the other by one run.
On Saturday, the Pirates defeated the Kato Cubs 6-5 playing on the Waterville ballfield.
Then on Sunday the Pirates returned to the same field to down the Wells Wildcats 24-1.
The two victories propelled the team to the next round where they faced Cannon Falls in Cannon Falls at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11. The game was played after this week's deadline for the Faribault County Register and details will be included in the next issue.
"Cannon Falls is a very good team," Pirates manager Todd Schmidtke says. "This will be a real test for us."
Schmidtke says Cannon Falls has one of the top pitchers in the state.
"Keith Meyers played at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and was drafted by the Dodgers about 10 years ago," the coach says. "He played for them at their double-A team."
If Blue Earth wins on Saturday, they will turn around and play on Sunday. If they lose, they would play again at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
They also have the possibility of playing two games on Sunday, in order to win the double elimination tourney. The first would be at 2 p.m., the second at 5 p.m.
Blue Earth 24, Wells 1
The Pirates' bats came alive as the team pounded out an astounding 25 hits including eight home runs against the Wildcats on Sunday.
Both Aaron Wendt and Kane Malo knocked two over the fence each.
"Aaron's one homer went over the right field fence and probably went 400 feet," Schmidtke says. "He had five RBI in the game."
The Pirates led just 1-0 after the first inning. They added a couple more in the second for a 3-0 lead.
Then in the third inning they added five more runs with three base hits and three home runs in the inning.
Blue Earth added two more runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. Then they hit for another five runs in the sixth inning and plated seven more runs in the seventh.
The Wildcats one run came on a home run by Josh Amundson in the sixth inning.
Besides their eight homers, the Pirates also had six doubles.
T.J. Schmidtke was 4 for 5 at the plate with a double, while Malo was 4 for 6.
Wendt, T.J. Stallman, Lee Hodges and Trent Sonnickson all had three hits each for the Pirates. Hodges had a home run and a double.
Brandyn Olson had two hits, both doubles. Cody Sukalski and Justin Schaible each had one hit, but they were both home runs.
The Pirates played everyone in the game and had four pitchers take the mound.
Wendt pitched four innings and allowed two hits, struck out three and walked two.
Sukalski came in for one inning with no hits or strike outs and walked one batter. T.J. Nowak came in for one inning and allowed one run on one hit and struck out one. Schmidtke came in for one inning with no hits, strike outs or walks.
Blue Earth 6, Mankato 5
The Pirates had a scare in the game against the Kato Cubs on Saturday.
T.J. Stallman hit a home run in the first inning for the first score of the game and an early 1-0 lead. The Pirates added three more runs in the second inning on a base hit by Lee Hodges and doubles by Kane Malo and Cody Sukalski. That gave them a 4-0 lead.
The Pirates would go scoreless the next five innings.
Meanwhile, the Cubs hit a solo home run in the third and a two-run homer in the fourth to cut the lead to 4-3.
Mankato added a couple more runs in the sixth to take over the lead for the first time, 5-4.
Finally, in the eighth inning, the Pirates made their move.
Justin Schaible reached base on a walk. Malo hit his second double of the game to bring him home.
A single by Trent Sonnickson brought Malo home for the game-winning run.
The Pirates' Hodges shut down the Cubs' batters in the eighth and ninth innings to secure the win.
Hodges went all nine innings for Blue Earth, giving up the five runs on six hits, striking out nine and walking three Cubs batters.
"Lee just seemed to get stronger and stronger the last three innings," Coach Todd Schmidtke says.
Malo led the way at the plate going 3 for 4 with the two doubles. John Franta was 2 for 4 with a double and Sukalski was 2 for 5 with a double.