Pirates pitch their way to championship
Cody Sukalski threw 14 innings throughout the semifinal and final of the Green Isle-Hamburg tournament to lead the Blue Earth Pirates to a championship.
Sukalski worked seven innings in the semifinal to defeat Sacred Heart 4-1.
After throwing well in his first outing, Manager Todd Schmidtke asked him, “can you throw the championship game?”
The ironman was up for the challenge, throwing his second complete game in the same day.
For his extraordinary performance on the mound in the semifinal and final, Sukalski was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Pirates joining the MVP on the all tournament team were Kane Malo, T.J. Schmidtke and Garrett Anderson.
Blue Earth 4,
St. Joseph 0
In the final game of the tournament, Sukalski shut down St. Joseph striking out three and scattering six hits.
Blue Earth scored two runs in the second, one in the fourth and one in the fifth to win 4-0.
Josh Amundson was the only Pirate to knock two hits in the game. The recent Blue Earth Area graduate connected on two singles and drove in the Pirates’ first run in the second inning to energize the team from the plate.
With two outs already recorded in the fifth inning, St. Joseph strung together three singles, but Blue Earth’s Justin Schaible denied any Saints from crossing the plate. The left fielder gunned down St. Joseph’s Tom Kemper to end the threat.
Blue Earth 4,
Sacred Heart 1
Sukalski worked his way out of trouble in nearly every inning stranding eight Saints on the base paths.
The seventh inning provided a snapshot of Sukalski’s outing when he loaded the bases before striking out Sacred Heart’s Tyler Klienhagen to end the game.
From the plate, the Pirates received multiple hits from Schmidtke and Amundson. Both players had two hits apiece.
Blue Earth 5,
An extra-inning Schmidtke double sparked a rally in the bottom of the eighth as the Pirates plated the game’s decisive run.
Lorreto’s shortstop, Kent Koch, committed an error to allow Schmidtke to score the winning run.
The top of the Blue Earth order was firing on all cylinders as number one and two hitters, Cody Sukalski and T.J. Schmidtke, each had three hits. The two capitalized on their offensive production by scoring three of the team’s five runs.
John Traetow started the game from the mound throwing six innings allowing three runs on seven hits. The starter struck out five batters and walked five.
Sukalski closed the game throwing the seventh and eighth innings. He tallied three strikeouts and gave up three hits in seven innings.
Blue Earth 1,
The Pirates scored the winning run against the Lakers in the bottom of the seventh inning. Schaible worked a walk and Malo drove in the free pass with a double to secure the Blue Earth victory.
Garrett Anderson threw a complete game gem for the Pirates, allowing no runs on one hit. Anderson struck out eight Laker batters with two crucial strikeouts in the seventh to set up the Blue Earth winning run in the bottom half of the inning.