Pirates bow out
It figured to be a close game as Blue Earth met the Fergus Falls Hurricanes in Class C State Tournament action held at the Chaska Athletic Park on Friday, Aug. 22.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, they ended up on the short end of the score as they were defeated 4-3 and were eliminated from further play.
The Hurricanes started right hander Casey Kowalski on the mound. Kowalski came into the game sporting a 7-3 record and a 1.83 ERA.
The Pirates countered with port sider Aaron Wendt who had a 7-0 record with a 1.64 ERA.
Trailing 1-0 after the top half of the first inning, the Pirates responded with doubles by T.J. Stallman, Todd Rasmussen, and Daniel Woodall to take a 2-1 lead at the end of inning number one.
Following a scoreless second inning the Hurricanes tied the score up in the top of the third with an infield hit, a walk and a single to left field – bringing in one run to knot the score at 2-2.
It looked like the Pirates would do some damage in their half of the third. After having a runner picked off first, T. J. Schmidtke stroked a single and Woodall coaxed a walk to put runners on first and second with only one out. Fergus Falls escaped any damage as Wendt bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
A great play by the Hurricanes’ shortstop Mike Gaustad kept the Pirates off the board in the bottom of the sixth. With two runners on, Stallman hit one to short left that looked like it was going to fall in.
Gaustad, unable to reach the ball with his glove hand, stretched out and caught the ball with his bare hand to end the inning.
Dominic Schultz relieved Wendt in the top of the seventh inning after Wendt had yielded a walk to the Hurricanes’ second baseman, Ben Brimhall, to open the inning. Stallman gunned down Brimhall as he attempted to steal second base and the game remained tied at two runs each going into the top of the ninth inning.
One out was in the books when Brimhall came to bat and hit one to left for a single. He was able to come around to score on a double by Tim Erickson off the glove of a diving Rasmussen in center field.
An infield single by Kellen Shebeck put runners on the corners and a sacrifice fly by Aaron Jenkins brought home Erickson with the fourth run of the night for Fergus Falls.
It looked like the Pirates would go quietly and quickly in the bottom of the ninth as the Hurricanes recorded two quick outs.
Stallman kept the game alive with a single and the Hurricanes quickly brought in Aaron Jenkins to do relieve Kowalski. Rasmussen welcomed him with a single to put runners on the corners. Schmidtke followed with another single as Stallman came in to close the gap to 4-3. However, Rasmussen was thrown out by right fielder Jarrod Asmus as he tried to advance to third base. With that, Blue Earth’s season was over. They finished the season with a 34-4 record.
The Hurricanes ended up with four runs on nine hits while committing zero errors. The Pirates recorded three runs on 12 hits and were charged with two errors.