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Pirates eliminated from playoffs

By Staff | Aug 18, 2019

Lee Hodges pitched a complete game when Blue Earth defeated St. Clair on Friday, Aug. 9. Hodges struck out nine St. Clair batters in picking up the win.

The Blue Earth Pirates fell short in their bid to qualify for the Class C State Amateur League Baseball Tournament. A 9-3 defeat at the hands of the Eagle Lake Expos on Saturday, Aug. 10, put an end to the Pirates season. The game was played in Jordan.

Garrett Anderson had a perfect game going through the first three innings and the Pirates were leading 1-0 going into the top of the fourth.

Blake Altermatt of the Expos hit the first pitch of the fourth inning over the left field fence to tie the game at 1-1. Eagle Lake would take the lead for good when they scored four more runs in the top of the seventh inning.

“They had timely hits and we did not,” Lee Hodges, the Pirates manager, said. “We left too many men on base.”

Blue Earth finished the season with a record of 18 wins and 11 losses.

Three teams from the Region 6C Tournament advanced to the State Tournament. Those teams are Jordan, which finished in first place, Waterville, who claimed second place and Morristown, which defeated Eagle Lake to claim third place and gain the final State Tournament bid.

Two Pirates were drafted by other teams for the State Tournament. Only pitchers may be drafted and they do not bat in the games, they only pitch. Garrett Anderson was selected by Jordan and Lee Hodges was selected by Morristown.

Pirates 5, Wood Ducks 2

The St. Clair Wood Ducks had seven hits while the Blue Earth Pirates only had five hits, but it was the Pirates who came out on top where it mattered with a 5-2 victory. The game was played at Veterans Field in Blue Earth on Friday night, Aug. 9. The win propelled the Pirates to the Saturday final games the next day.

Lee Hodges pitched a complete game victory and struck out nine St. Clair batters.

Blue Earth struck first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. TJ Stallman singled. Kane Malo laid down a sacrifice bunt which St. Clair played into an error allowing Malo to be safe at first. TJ Schmidtke followed with a bunt single to fill the bases with Pirate runners.

Brandyn Olsen hit into a fielder’s choice to bring in one run and Hodges singled to bring in another run and give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.

St. Clair scored one run in the top of the fifth inning. A single followed by a sacrifice bunt moved a runner into scoring position. Another single brought the runner home to make it a 2-1 game in favor of Blue Earth.

The Pirates got a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Malo and Schmidtke walked to begin the inning. A grounder off the bat of Olsen forced out Schmidtke at second base and left runners at first and third base. The Pirates then pulled off a double steal which allowed Malo to come home and make it a 3-1 game with Blue Earth on top.

A solo home run in the top of the eighth inning by St. Clair cut the Pirate’s lead to one run and made the score 3-2.

Blue Earth added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Malo reached base on a dropped third strike. Schmidtke singled and both runners advanced one base on a wild pitch. Olsen walked to load the bases.

A ground ball resulted in a force out at home plate for the first out. However, Kaylan Legred walked to force in one run and Garrett Anderson singled in another run to put the Pirates on top 5-2.

Hodges struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth inning to secure the win for Blue Earth.