Pirates take 1st at tourney
The Blue Earth Pirates won all four of their games to take the championship of the Green Isle-Hamburg Baseball Tournament held June 22-24.
The four wins boosted the Pirates overall season record to 19-4.
Blue Earth downed Sacred Heart 1-0 on Friday night, then defeated Dassel-Cokato 6-2 on Saturday.
The Pirates took on Chanhassen in the semi-finals on Sunday and won 6-5. They defeated Waconia 7-2 later in the day to claim the championship.
Waconia was the runnerup in the state tournament last year.
The Pirates fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, but came back to tie the game in the second.
Both teams scored a run in the third to keep the game knotted at 2-2.
Blue Earth was able to add three runs in the fourth to blow the game open, then added two more in the fifth for a comfortable 7-2 lead that lasted through the end of the game.
The game featured the Pirates pitching debut of Blue Earth Area High School senior Brandyn Olsen.
Olsen went all seven innings for the Pirates, allowing the two Waconia runs on four hits. He struck out three and walked two batters he faced.
Trent Sonnickson helped provide the firepower at the plate for the Blue Earth squad, going 3 for 3 with a double.
Justin Schaible was 2 for 3 and Lee Hodges 2 for 4 for the Pirates.
Aaron Wendt and Kane Malo each had just one hit, but they both made it doubles. Malo scored twice for the Blue Earth nine.
The local team had 11 hits in the game.
B.E. 6, Chanhassen 5
Justin Schaible made a diving catch in the last inning to thwart a Chanhassen rally and save a one-run victory for the Pirates in the semi-final game.
Blue Earth was clinging to a 6-4 lead in the seventh inning when Chanhassen scored a run and was within one of tying things up.
Blue Earth had scored two runs in the second and two more in the third, but Chanhassen had four in the third to tie the game.
The Pirates added one in the fourth, then another in the seventh.
Cody Sukalski pitched all seven innings for Blue Earth, giving up the five runs on four hits. Two of the runs were earned.
He also struck out two and walked four.
Sukalski, Schaible, Aaron Wendt, and Kane Malo each had two hits for the Pirates in the game.
B.E. 6, Dassel-Cokato 2
The Pirates scored three runs in the first inning and three more in the third on their way to a 6-2 win in the second round of the tourney on Saturday.
Dassel-Cokato scored both of their runs in the third inning.
Lee Hodges was the winning pitcher, going all seven innings for the Pirates on the mound.
He allowed the two runs, both earned, on five hits. He struck out six and walked three.
Hodges also led at the plate for the Pirates, going 2 for 3 batting and scoring twice. Cody Sukalski was 2 for 4 and scored once.
T.J. Schmidtke was 1 of 4 batting but scored twice in the game.
The Pirates had eight hits in the game.
B.E. 1, Sacred Heart 0
The Blue Earth Pirates started the tournament off with a nail-biting 1-0 win over Sacred Heart on Friday night.
Cody Sukalski was the first batter up for the Pirates and knocked out a single.
T.J. Schmidtke and Aaron Wendt followed with singles as well, and Sukalski came home for the game’s one and only score.
Wendt pitched the complete seven-inning shutout, allowing just five hits and striking out five and walking two.
The Pirates had six hits in the game, just one more than Sacred Heart.
Kane Malo led the hitting, going 2 for 3 with a double.
“Winning this tournament was a pretty big deal for us,” Pirates manager Todd Schmidtke says. “There were a lot of state tournament quality teams there, and at least two Class B tournament entrants from last year.”
The championship was a repeat for the Pirates, as they also won it last season.
“Playing four games from Friday night to Sunday afternoon was a good test for us,” Schmidtke says. “The boys were pretty tired by Sunday night.”
The Pirates were off all this past week until Saturday, June 30 at home against the Mankato Mets, and Sunday, July 1 at Lake Crystal both games after this issue of the Faribault County Register went to press. Details on those games will be included in the next Register.
This week the Pirates host the Austin Blue Sox at Blue Earth on Monday, July 2 in a 7:30 p.m. match up, then will play at Waterville on Sunday, July 8.