Pirates keep State dreams alive
As of last week Friday, Aug. 9, the Blue Earth Pirates are just three games away from a possible return to the State Class C Baseball Tournament.
But, the Pirates would need to win all three games over a two-day period.
After having lost their opening game in the Region 6C Tournament to the Wells Wildcats 1-0 on Sunday, July 28, the Pirates entered the loser bracket of the double elimination tourney.
The Pirates had been seeded No. 2 in the south bracket, while the Wildcats had the No. 7 seed.
Since then, the Pirates have won two in a row. They defeated the No. 3-seeded Gaylord Islanders 2-1 on Saturday, Aug. 3, then downed the north bracket No. 4 seed, the St. Peter Saints, 7-3, on Sunday, Aug. 4.
The Pirates were set to host the St. Clair Wood Ducks, the north bracket’s No. 3 seed, on Friday evening, Aug. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Blue Earth.
“We played St. Clair earlier in the season and lost in 13 innings,” Pirates manager Lee Hodges says. “Then we beat them handily in the latter part of the season, so we hope we can do it again.”
If the Pirates won on Friday, they were set to play the No. 6 seeded Eagle Lake Expos the next day, on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 1:30 p.m. in Jordan.
They would then turn around and play for the third place trophy and a trip to the State Tournament as the No. 3 seed out of Region 6C. That game will be at 4 p.m., also on Saturday, Aug. 10 in Jordan. It would be against either the Belle Plaine Tigers (No. 2 seed in the north bracket), the Morristown Morries (No. 5 seed in the north bracket), or the Henderson Tigers (No. 6 seed in the south bracket).
“We have our work to do,” Hodges says. “It is always hard to win three games in one weekend. But, we do have enough pitchers so I think we can handle it.”
The No. 1 seeds of both the north and south brackets will be playing for the first and second place trophies and trips to the State at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10. Those two are the Waterville Indians and the Jordan Brewers.
Details on all of the Pirates games over the Aug. 9 and 10 weekend will be included in next week’s Faribault County Register, and on the Register Facebook page.
Meanwhile, after shocking the No. 2 seed Blue Earth Pirates with their 1-0 opening round victory, the No. 7 seeded Wells Wildcats went on to face the No. 6 seeded Eagle Lake Expos on Saturday, Aug. 3, at Franklin Rogers Field in Mankato and lost 15-5.
The Wildcats entered the losers’ bracket and faced the north bracket’s No. 5 seed Morristown Morries on Sunday, Aug. 4, in Morristown, and lost 12-2 and thus were eliminated from the tournament.
Here is an update on the Pirates two wins on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3 and 4.
BE Pirates 2,
Gaylord Islanders 1
The Pirates had a close game on Saturday but they pulled out the one run victory over Gaylord.
The Islanders got on the board first with one run in the top of the first inning due to an error.
The lead off batter had hit a ground ball to third base and got on first due to an error. He scored on a double to center.
The Pirates came back with one run in the second inning and one in the third.
Lee Hodges hit a single in the second inning, followed by a single from Garrett Anderson and another one from Kaylan Legred which scored Hodges.
In the third inning Kane Malo hit a single and then advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. Brandyn Olsen hit a double to score Malo with the winning run.
Hodges pitched all nine innings and struck out nine batters.
Legred was 3 for 4, Olsen 1 for 4 with an RBI and Anderson was 1 for 3. The Pirates had eight hits overall.
“Gaylord is a really good team,” Hodges said. “And we left a lot of runners on base during the game.”
BE Pirates 7,
St. Peter Saints 3
The Pirates started off the scoring early in their game on Sunday against St. Peter.
John Franta got a lead off single in the first inning, then stole second base. A single by Brandyn Olsen put Franta on third.
Lee Hodges hit a double to score Franta, but Olsen was thrown out at home on a perfect throw from the relay man to the catcher for the third out.
The Pirates scored two more in the third inning when Hunter Bleess and Brandyn Olson both hit singles and came home on a double by Kane Malo.
Then the Pirates scored four more runs in the fourth inning.
Kaylan Legred had a single and stole a base. Aaron Wendt hit an RBI triple to score Legred. Then Logan Jahnke hit a ground ball to the shortstop to score Wendt.
After Garrett Anderson got on base with a walk, and Malo hit his second double of the game, TJ Schmidtke’s single scored two more runs for the Blue Earth team.
Anderson pitched six innings and allowed no runs, three hits and two strike outs.
Wendt came in for the final three innings and gave up three runs, all of them earned. One was in the eighth inning and two were in the ninth.