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Pirates get to State despite loss

By Staff | Aug 16, 2008

Shortstop T. J. Schmidtke throws to first.

The Blue Earth Pirates had a big scare on their way to playing in the State Tournament this week.

They lost their game on Saturday, Aug. 9, which meant they had to win their first game on Sunday in order to go to State.

Saturday they played the team from St. Patrick, who had earlier in the day defeated Waterville.

Blue Earth lost that game 10-1.

On Sunday they faced Union Hill in a must-win game. The Pirates came through with a clutch 6-3 triumph.

T. J. Stallman connects with the ball, in a one of the Region 4C games played in Waterville.

The victory meant both Blue Earth and St. Patrick would be going to the State Tournament to represent Region 4C.

“There are two teams from each of 16 regions in the state,” Pirate Coach Todd Schmidtke says.

With one loss each, the question became would Blue Earth or St. Patrick go to State as the champion in Region 4C. The other would go as runner-up.

This meant another game on Sunday afternoon between the two teams. The Pirates avenged the loss from the day before by blanking St. Patrick 6-0 on Sunday and claimed the Region Championship.

“It is important to go to State as the champion because it means you get to play the second place team from another region,” Schmidtke says.

The Pirates played their first game at State this past Thursday and defeated Sacred Heart 5-3 in Shakopee.

Aaron Wendt was the winning pitcher in the game, while Vinnie Van Englinburg (of New Richland) got the save.

Trent Sonnicksen was 3 for 3 in the game, and Wendt and T. J. Schmidtke were 2 for 4.

The win means the Pirates will play this Friday, Aug. 22 in Chaska. They will face Fergus Falls at 6 p.m.

“The first two games are single elimination,” says Schmidtke. “If you lose you go home.”

After that, it becomes an eight team double elimination tournament.

Region final games

St. Patrick 10, Blue Earth 1

The Pirates had a tough game on Saturday, stranding 14 runners on base during the nine innings.

Blue Earth had five hits to St. Patrick’s 11.

The Pirates were behind 6-0 after five innings with St. Patrick getting four more in the sixth. Blue Earth got it’s only run across in the seventh inning.

Pitcher Aaron Wendt took the loss.

Blue Earth 6, Union Hill 3

Blue Earth built up a 6-0 lead after five innings of play on Sunday, then held on to win 6-3.

Cody Hyland got the win, going seven innings and scattering six hits. Lee Hodges came in and pitched two innings of relief.

T. J. Stallman, Todd Rasmussen and Trent Sonnicksen all went 2 for 4 from the plate, and each one had a double. The Pirates had nine total hits.

Blue Earth 6, St. Patrick 0

Blue Earth got an early first inning 2-0 lead and never looked back in the State ranking game on Sunday.

They added another run in the fourth and two more in the fifth, with a final run in the sixth.

The Pirates out hit St. Patrick 11 to four. Stallman was 3 for 5.

Lee Hodges had eight strong innings, with Eric Niebahr coming in for the save.