Pirates start play at State
The Blue Earth Pirates are headed to the State Class C Baseball Tournament despite winning only one of their three games over the past weekend.
The Pirates will enter as the No. 2 seed from Region 4C. They took their 30-5 record to St. Cloud on Saturday, Aug. 18, where they played Chanhassen at 11:30 a.m. in the first round of the state.
Details on that game will be in the next Faribault County Register, as it was played after this week’s deadline.
If the Pirates win Saturday against Chanhassen, they will play on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 5:30 p.m. against Detroit Lakes in St. Cloud again.
Three teams will be in the state competition from Region 4C. Besides Blue Earth, Cannon Falls enters as the No. 1 seed and the Waterville Indians are the No. 3 seed.
The Pirates lost their first game last weekend, on Saturday, to the Cannon Falls Bears, 4-3.
That dropped them into an evening game against the Waterville Indians which Blue Earth won 13-5.
The rematch on Sunday with Cannon Falls was to determine who would enter the State Baseball Tournament as the No. 1 seed. The Bears took that distinction with a 5-0 victory in the 2 p.m. game.
If Blue Earth would have won the game, it would set up another Bears vs. Pirates contest at 5 p.m. that same day. But, a second game was not necessary in the double elimination tourney.
Cannon Falls 5,
Blue Earth 0
Despite out-hitting the Bears 8-6, the Pirates couldn’t squeeze out a run and lost the championship game 5-0.
Cannon Falls got in a run in the first inning, added two more in the second and two more in the fifth.
The Pirates had a new pitcher on the mound, Matt Samerow from Morristown.
He went five innings, giving up the five runs on three hits, striking out one and walking six.
Cody Sukalski came in for four innings and allowed no runs on three hits, struck out two and walked one.
Sukalski and T.J. Schmidtke each were 2 for 4 at the plate. Kane Malo, Lee Hodges, Justin Schaible and John Franta were all 1 for 3 batting.
Blue Earth 13,
After losing their opening game against Cannon Falls last Saturday, the Pirates rebounded with a big 13-5 win in a 7 p.m. game that same night against the Waterville Indians.
The Pirates had two quick runs in the first inning, but trailed 3-2 after one.
Blue Earth added three runs in the second inning to reclaim the lead, 5-3.
Waterville added two runs in the third, but Blue Earth had four more in the same inning to keep the lead.
The Pirates added two more in the sixth and one each in the seventh and eighth innings for the big win, and a chance to move on to the championship game and a guaranteed state tourney trip.
Aaron Wendt pitched all nine innings, giving up the five runs, all earned, on six hits. He struck out nine and walked six in the game.
The Pirates had four doubles in the game by Cody Sukalski, T.J. Schmidtke, T.J. Stallman and Wendt.
Zach Dahl pounded out a triple in the game.
Wendt and Justin Schaible were each 3 for 5 in the game, while Schmidtke was 3 for 6. with three RBI.
Trent Sonnicksen was 2 for 4 and Sukalski was 2 for 5.
Cannon Falls 4,
Blue Earth 3
It wasn’t as though the Pirates didn’t have a chance in the first game of last weekend. They lost a heartbreaker to the Cannon Falls Bears 4-3.
And a true heart breaker it was.
The Pirates jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the very first inning.
T.J. Schmidtke hit a double and T.J. Stallman hit a single to put two men on.
Justin Schaible’s single brought Schmidtke in to score, while Kane Malo hit a two RBI single that plated Stallman and Schaible.
However, that was all the scoring the Pirates would have, failing to have another run across the plate for the next eight innings.
But, they had their chances.
In the very next inning, Cody Sukalski reached first on a single, and single by Schmidtke put men on first and second.
Aaron Wendt hit a long fly ball to deep right field that looked to be a three run home run but was caught at the top of the fence.
That proved to be the game changer.
Cannon Falls remained scoreless until the seventh inning when they brought four men across the plate and erased Blue Earth’s 3-0 lead and gave the hometown Bears the 4-3 win.
Lee Hodges took the loss, pitching 6 1/3 innings, giving up the four runs on seven hits, striking out four and walking one.
Sukalski came in for 2 2/3 innings and allowed no runs on one hit and didn’t strike out any, walking one.
Schmidtke led the team at the plate with his 2 for 4 hitting performance including the double.
The Pirates tied the Bears 8-8 in hits during the game.