3 DRS teams heading to state

    St. Patrick and Faribault became the first two teams to clinch spots representing Region 3C in the State Class C baseball tournament, winning second round games on Sunday, Aug. 3, and New Market earned a spot with a win on Tuesday. The final team to represent the region was scheduled to be determined at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, with St. Benedict playing at Prior Lake.
    The state tournament starts Friday, August 15, and runs over three weekends in Jordan and Belle Plaine.
    The region tournament continues with games every day through Sunday, Aug. 10, as the four state qualifying teams play for seeding purposes. At 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, Faribault plays St. Patrick at Elko. At 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, the Prior Lake/St. Benedict winner plays New Market at Elko. Thursday’s losing team and Friday’s winning team face off at 2 p.m. Saturday at a site to be determined, and the championship game or games will be played Sunday beginning at noon. Two games may be needed Sunday to determine the winner in the double-elimination tournament.

Lakers 4, Mudcats 3
    Faribault spotted Prior Lake a 3-0 lead, but scored four runs without a hit in the seventh inning to claim a 4-3 lead in the first round of the double-elimination portion of the Region 3C playoffs Thursday, July 31, in Faribault.
    Faribault used a walk, an error and a hit batter to load the bases, and another walk by Matt Lane brought in the first run. Another error on a potential double play ball brought in two more runs, and a sacrifice fly scored the final run.
    Matt Stocker started and went six innings for Faribault, with Jack Helgeson and Lane pitching in relief. Lane picked up the save with two strikeouts in the ninth. Joe Grote and Jack Helgeson both had two hits for Faribault.
    Prior Lake’s Brad Schoenrock pitched six scoreless innings. Tony Loehr took the loss in relief.

Saints 4, Bulldogs 3
    The St. Benedict Saints defeated Union Hill 4-3 Friday, Aug. 1, in Veseli.
    Michael Pauly stroked a two-run home run in the third, Scott Eischens singled home a run in the sixth, and Chris Hartman singled in a run in the seventh for St. Benedict.
    The Bulldogs took advantage of three Saints errors in the eighth, pulling to within a run.
    Hunter Piehl and Jon Solheid pitched for Union Hill. Tanner Oakes went the distance for St. Benedict.

Lakers 4, Muskies 2
    Faribault earned its first state tournament berth since 1980 with a 4-2 win over top-seeded New Market on Sunday in New Market.
    As they did three days earlier, the Lakers fell behind early but scored four runs in the seventh inning to take the win. A hit and an error put two runners on base and a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position. However the lead runner was thrown out at home trying to advance on a passed ball, so the Muskies were one batter away from getting out of the jam.
    But Blake Langerud’s double put Faribault on the board, and Adam Jensen tied the game with an RBI single. Joe Grote launched a two-run home run to give his team the lead.
    New Market loaded the bases in the eighth, but couldn’t score and had two runners on in the ninth before going down.
    New Market got on in the first when Dave Stewart doubled and later scored on a passed ball. Stewart had an RBI single in the second to make it a 2-0 game.
    Evan Knutson pitched seven innings and struck out six for the win, with Matt Lane getting the save, striking out four batters in two innings of work. Derek Bergstrom took the loss for the Muskies. Stewart, Nick Rost and Kyle Bergstrom each had two hits for New Market.

Irish 11, Saints 4
    St. Patrick pitcher Josh Simon allowed four runs in the first inning, but settled down to pitch the Irish to the state tournament with an 11-4 win.
    Scott Eischens and Michael Pauly hit one-out singles for St. Benedict in the first. After a fielder’s choice, Tanner Oakes’ flyball to left center was dropped for an error. The two base runners scored and Oakes came home on a throwing error. Andrew Huss, Steve Weiers and Brenden Heitkamp each singled to follow, making the score 4-0.
    The Irish answered back with a run in the bottom of the first when Derek Hahn knocked one over the right field fence making it 4-1. 
    St. Patrick then chased St. Benedict starter, Chris Hartman in the second, scoring six times. Mathew Pexa led off with a double, Josh Simon drove him in with a single.  Wade Schucknecht walked and both runners moved up on Colton Borwege's sacrifice bunt. Derrick Issacson tied the game with a two-run single to right field. Augie Issacson walked, Hahn was hit by a pitch, then Matt Ambroz doubled to drive in two more. Seth Ambroz grounded to short to drive in a run, making the score 7-4.
    Josh Simon took Jeremy Heitkamp's first offering of the fourth inning deep over the left field fence to make the score 8-4. In the eighth, the Irish used three hits, a walk and a hit batter to plate three more, making the final 11-4.
    Heitkamp had three hits and Pauly, Huss and Weiers each had two for St. Benedict.
    Matt Ambroz went 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBIs. Hahn, Pexa and Simon had two hits each.

Muskies 7, Bulldogs 0
    New Market’s Nate Rost struck out 18 batters and pitched nine shutout innings to defeat Union Hill 7-0 Tuesday, Aug. 3, at Union Hill.
    The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the third inning, but Rost pitched out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts. New Market then scored two in the fourth on a 2-run single by Harry Ballantyne. Ballantyne also had a key hit in the four-run sixth as New Market took a 6-0 lead. They added one more in the seventh.
    For Union Hill, Bryan Linder, Adam Gill and Danny Beckius each had two hits. Rick Bell started and took the loss, with Daniel Feneis pitching in relief.

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