Elko gains Region 3C berth in state tourney as runners-up; Hampton is champion

The Elko Express advanced through the losers' bracket with two come from behind, 6-4 wins over Prior Lake and Union Hill to take the Region 3C runners-up spot and a berth in the state baseball tourney.

Hampton will represent Region 3C as the champion, having gone through the region tourney without a loss.

Raymond, the runner-up team from Region 9C, will be Elko's first opponent in the state tourney. Game time is 7:30 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 18, at Hutchinson.

Hampton meets Granite Falls, the Region 9C runner-up, in a contest preceding the Elko-Raymond game, which starts at 5:00 p.m.

Last week's results:

Wed., Aug. 10

Elko 6, Prior Lake 4 (11 inn.)

The Express trailed in the early going at Prior Lake’s Veterans Field by 4-0, mostly because of unearned runs, but rallied to tie the score at 4-4 in the ninth and scored two more in the 11th inning to win, 6-4.

Tony Gabriel’s sacrifice fly in the seventh scored Tres Humerickhouse with a run to bring Elko within 4-2. Humerickhouse ran for Justin Bailey after Bailey and Corey Grisim had singled.

In the ninth, Gabriel hit a two-run single with men on base for a 4-4 tie to send the game into extra innings.

In the 11th, Josh Roiger’s single scored Grisim from second base and on the ensuing throw home, Roiger took second. Ash Larsen then singled for Elko’s sixth run.

Roiger, Wade Rignell, Bailey and Grisim each had two hits for Elko.

B.J. Benz hit two doubles and a single for Prior Lake and Kyle Johnson hit two singles, each batter driving in a run for the Mudcats.

Jeremy Wieland, draftee pitcher from New Market, was the winner as he faced the last 15 Prior Lake batters, striking out nine, walking one, allowing but two singles and a sacrifice bunt.

The line score: R H E

Elko Express .................001 000 102 02 - 6 11 2

Prior Lake Mudcats.......130 000 000 00 - 4 8 5

Andrew Lyke, Rob Brick (3), Jeremy Wieland (8) and Josh Thom. Ryan White, Luke Giesen (21/3), Jake Schmidt (9) and Greg Faue.

Fri., Aug. 12

Elko 6, Union Hill 4

Catcher Josh Thom’s three-run homer to right in the top of the eighth inning decided this very close contest as Elko rallied at Union Hill for a 6-4 win.

Elko took an initial 3-0 lead in the third on four consecutive singles with two outs with Ash Larsen driving in two runners and Jeff Joosten’s hit plating the third run.

Union Hill came back in the same inning as Jesse Bastyr led off with a single and Jeff Bruder hit a two-out home run, making it 3-2 Elko.

The Bulldogs moved ahead with a pair in the seventh as Phil Giesen singled, Bastyr walked, and Rick Bell’s bunt single loaded the bases. Matt Sticha walked after two outs to force in a run and during Brian Giesen’s at bat the catcher’s return throw back to the mound after a pitch got away from the pitcher and the speedy Bastyr scored the lead run. The third out was line out to center field.

Lefthander Josh Roiger, who had come on in relief for Elko, got the win, facing seven batters in the last two innings, striking out three and allowing no hits.

Nick Davis, the Elko starter, struck out ten batters and walked five.

Thom, Joosten and Roiger led the Express at the plate with two hits apiece.

The line score: R H E

Elko Express ......................003 000 030 - 6 8 3

Union Hill Bulldogs...........002 000 200 - 4 7 2

Nick Davis, Josh Roiger (72/3) and Josh Thom. Matt Sticha, Joe Friedges (8), Rick Bell (81/3) and Dan Novak.

Sat., Aug. 13 at Hampton

Hampton 11, Elko 1 (7 inn.)

The Hampton Cardinals took a 2-0 lead on Joe Anthonson’s home run with a runner on in the third inning and used a nine-run fifth inning to put the game way enroute to a seven-inning, 11-1 victory over Elko in the title game at Hampton.

Hampton sent 13 batters to the plate in the fifth and there were six singles, three walks, a hit batter and miscues.

Anthonson, who also hit a double in the first inning, and Rob Giefer led the Cardinals with two hits each.

Elko’s lone run came in the seventh as Ty Dombeck led off with a single, advanced on a walk and an error and scored on Ryan Webber’s fielder’s choice infield grounder.

The line score: R H E

Elko Express.........................000 000 1 - 1 4 3

Hampton Cardinals...............002 090 x - 11 10 2

Brian Muell, Tres Humerickhouse (51/3) and Josh Thom. Tom Arnold, Jorin Tix (7) and Taylor Pagel, Andy Helling (6).

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Elko drafted pitcher-catcher Dan Smith of Union Hill for state tourney play and Hampton drafted Robert Burr of Cannon Falls.

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