The Blue Earth Pirates advanced to the 'Sweet 16' at the State Class C Baseball Tournament with a convincing 11-4 win over the No. 1 seed team from Region 14, the Detroit Lakes Angels on Saturday, Aug. 25.
The Pirates were now slated to take on the Maple Lake Lakers on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Putz Field in St. Cloud.
The Lakers, the No. 3 team out of Region 12, defeated the No 1 team out of Region 5, Stewartville-Racine, by a score of 14-7.
The Pirates are the No. 2 seed team out of Region 4. Both of the other two teams from Region 4, Waterville and Cannon Falls, also reached the final 16-team level.
If the Pirates defeat Maple Lake on Saturday, they would take on the winner of the Winsted vs. Sobieski game in a 2 p.m. match up on the next day, Sunday, Sept. 2, at Faber Field in St. Cloud.
Winning that game would put the Pirates into one of two semi-final games that same evening, Sunday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
The State Championship game is slated for Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 3 at 12 noon at Putz Field.
Details on all the Pirates games in this final weekend of the State Tourney will be in the next issue of the Faribault County Register.
In the game last Saturday against the Detroit Lakes Angels, both teams scored one run each in both the first and second innings, making the score tied 2-2 after two.
Justin Schaible came in to score in the first when Aaron Wendt hit a double.
In the second inning, Kane Malo hit a solo home run for the Pirates' second run.
It would not be his only homer in the game.
After a scoreless third inning, Malo nailed another Angel pitch and sent it over the fence to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
Trent Sonnicksen gained first base with a single and came around to score when Cody Sukalski hit a double, advancing the score to 4-2.
The Angels responded with two runs in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game again, at 4-4.
But the Pirates quickly reclaimed the lead right away in the bottom of the fifth with two runs.
Malo's third home run in his third straight time at the plate also brought in Lee Hodges who had hit a single.
That made the score 6-4.
Blue Earth wasn't done as the Pirates' John Franta reached base with a double and came in to score in the sixth.
And, the Pirates plated four more runs in the seventh when Schaible reached with a base on balls and Wendt, Lee Hodges, Garrett Anderson and Franta all had hits.
Hodges notched the win, going eight innings on the mound. He gave up the four runs on nine hits, struck out nine and walked one.
Wendt came in for the save, pitching one inning, giving up two hits, striking out one and walking one.
Malo led the batting for the Pirates, going 3 for 5, all three hits being home runs.
Wendt, Hodges and Franta were all 2 for 5, while Sukalski was 2 for 6.