BE earns split, still alive in tourney
In order to advance to the Minnesota State Amateur State Baseball Tournament, for the 16th straight year, the Blue Earth Pirates had to do battle with their opponents on the field, as well as Mother Nature this past weekend.
On Saturday, Aug. 4, second-seeded Blue Earth hosted the seventh-seeded Henderson Tigers in the opening round of the 6C Regional Tournament. However, the start of the game was delayed for an hour due to rain in the area.
Once the game was underway, the Pirates scored their first run in the second inning. Kane Malo legged out an infield single to lead off the frame. With one out, designated hitter Brandyn Olsen hit a sharp line drive that bounced off the heel of the third baseman’s glove and into foul territory.
Olsen reached first safely, while Malo advanced from first to third on the play. With one man down and a runner in scoring position, Iowa native Alan Davids lifted a ball into left center field which was deep enough to score Malo for the sacrifice fly. Although it was Blue Earth’s only run of the inning, there would be plenty more offense to follow later on.
In the fourth inning, with two on and one out, Pirates left-handed hitter Trent Sonnicksen reached safely on a perfectly executed bunt base hit to load the bases. The next Blue Earth batter, Kaylan Legred, was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Two hitters later, TJ Schmidtke recorded an RBI single to left center which gave Blue Earth a 3-0 advantage.
The Pirates added two more runs in the sixth inning, and two more in the seventh. Lee Hodges and Malo each recorded RBI singles in the sixth, while Schmidtke added a two-run single in the seventh. In total, the Pirates offense accounted for 12 hits against the Tigers in a 7-0 victory.
On the mound, Blue Earth starting pitcher Garrett Anderson was utterly dominant throughout the ballgame. Baffling Henderson hitters with a mixture of fastballs and offspeed pitches, the former BEA Buccaneer pitched seven scoreless innings while striking out 11 and surrendering just four hits.
Following Blue Earth’s win over Henderson, Mother Nature was at it again on Sunday, Aug. 5. Severe rain delayed Blue Earth’s second round showdown with third-seeded Belle Plaine in the middle of the second inning. As it turned out, the game was able to continue, but Blue Earth ended up on the wrong end of an 11-6 final score.
By virtue of the loss to Belle Plaine, Blue Earth will face the Arlington A’s at home on Friday, Aug 10 in a tournament elimination game. Results from that game will be available in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.
Meanwhile, the Wells Wildcats were defeated 6-5 in their first round matchup with Le Sueur on Aug. 4, and were eliminated from tournament competition with an 11-3 home loss to Janesville on Sunday, Aug. 5.