Pirates in League finals
The Blue Earth Pirates advanced to the 13-60 League championship this past week with wins over the Kato Cubs and the Minnesota Lake Royals.
Blue Earth hosted the league championship game Saturday after the Register’s deadline.
Blue Earth 9,
Kato Cubs 4
Blue Earth awoke from their slumber at the plate, scoring six runs in the sixth inning- propelling the Pirates to a 9-4 victory over the Kato Cubs.
A walk by T.J. Stallman and an error forced by Kane Malo were the catalysts in the six-run inning.
With three runners on base after Justin Schaible was hit by a pitch, Jon Traetow singled to drive in the opportunistic Pirates working their way on base.
Trent Sonnicksen followed with a single, loading up the bases with Pirates for the second time in the frame.
Two consecutive fielder’s choice plays off the bats of Cody Sukalski and T.J. Schmidtke gunned down Traetow and Schaible at the plate.
With Sukalski and Schmidtke occupying first and second base, Bobby Olson walked and the bases were loaded with Pirates for the fourth consecutive at bat.
With eight runners on base, but only two runs across the plate, Lee Hodges delivered the knockout punch.
The designated hitter scorched a triple to clear the bases, extending the Blue Earth lead to six runs.
The Pirates tacked on another run in the seventh when Traetow drove in Schaible for the Pirates ninth and final run.
Before the Pirates broke through in the six-run sixth, the score was knotted at two runs apiece.
With Kato leading 2-0 after the first inning, Blue Earth responded in the second when Kane Malo circled the bases after a single to start the inning.
The Pirates tied the game in the fifth. Sonnicksen walked and stole second base before he was driven in by Schmidtke.
Kato stormed out of the gates scoring two runs in the top of the first inning.
The Cubs’ Tyler Kuck and Greg Holtzheuter came around to score after connecting on singles.
After the shaky start, Aaron Wendt settled down, earning the win for the Pirates.
The starter struck out nine Cubs in 7 1/3 innings. Wendt limited the damage allowing three runs on nine hits.
Sukalski relieved Wendt with one out recorded in the eighth. Sukalski allowed one run on one hit and two walks to close out the contest.
Blue Earth 10,
Minnesota Lake 0
Lee Hodges threw a no-hitter to shut down the Minnesota Lake Royals in the first round of the 13-60 league playoffs.
Hodges threw eight innings of no-hit baseball, striking out seven and walking three.
Offensively, the Pirates scored a combined six runs in the first two innings to establish an insurmountable lead.
Bobby Olson sparked the Pirates with a double to score Schmidtke and Stallman in the first inning.
In the next inning, the Pirates pieced together three consecutive singles by the top of the order contributing to another three-run frame.
The Pirate bats remained dormant until the sixth inning when the speedy Sonnicksen went from first to home on a Traetow single.
Lee Hodges scored Blue Earth’s only run in the seventh after reaching base with a double.
In the eighth, the ten-run-rule went into effect after Hodges drove in Josh Amundson enforcing the mercy rule.