Orioles, Muskies lose close games

Dan Novak ended his long amateur baseball career with this eight-inning double in New Prague’s loss to Kimball Saturday, Sept. 1. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

Three Dakota-Rice-Scott League teams qualified for the final weekend of the Class C Minnesota Amateur Baseball Tournament, with New Prague and Faribault losing in the third round on Saturday, and New Market advancing to the quarterfinals before losing in 14 innings on Sunday.

Two DRS players, Matt Lane of Faribault and Nate Rost of New Market, were named to the All-Tournament team.

Kimball 2, New Prague 0 Kimball’s Zak Wallner shut down the New Prague Oriole bats, allowing just six hits in eight innings as the Express defeated the Orioles 2-0.+ Ben Johnson got the game’s first run on a solo home run in the fourth inning. Scott Marquardt gave the Express an insurance run with an RBI double in the seventh.+ New Prague squandered several chances. They had two runners on in the third inning, and had a runner tagged out after he overslid second base later in the game.

Longtime Oriole catcher Dan Novak, who had announced this would be his final season, tried to get New Prague’s offense going with a two-out double in the eighth, but was left stranded.

New Prague got two runners on base in the ninth, then Kimball brought in Alex Kendall, who walked the next batter to load the bases. However, he then retired the side to end the threat and the game.

The Orioles also got three on in the ninth, but Express closing pitcher Alex Kendall threw 11 strikes and allowed no hits in earning the save. Aaron Kes and Jake Klein reached on fielder’s choices, and Dan Shetka was walked.

Justin Novak had two hits for New Prague. Nathan Sprouls started and went six innings, striking out 11. He took the loss. Jonny Houston came on in relief in the seventh, pitching two innings and allowing two hits.

In addition to Dan Novak playing his final game, Orioles manager Jerry Plambeck announced that he was stepping down after nine years. He had a record of 179-120 and took the Orioles to five state tournaments. Plambeck, who moved out of New Prague last year, recently started a job that will require more of his time.

Plato 1, Faribault 0 An error in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Plato a 1-0 walk-off win over Faribault in Saturday’s nightcap in New Prague. Tyler Lang had two hits and scored the game’s only run. Chris Odegaard had two hits for Plato and also pitched nine innings, allowing just two hits and striking out nine. Blake Langerud and Mitch Johnson had the only hits for the Lakers. Matt Lane pitched 8-1/3 innings and got the hard-luck loss. He struck out seven and allowed just six hits.

New Market 9, Maple Lake 0 New Market scored five runs in the fourth inning and cruised to a 9-0 win over Maple Lake Saturday in Shakopee.

Nate Rost threw a shutout, striking out nine and went 4- for-4 at the plate with a home run and three RBIs.

In addition to the long ball, the Muskies also scored twice on squeeze plays. Andy Henkemeyer had an RBI double and Tyler Bergstrom had an RBI singled.

Maple Lake threatened in the eighth, but Rost picked off one runner and got the next batter to hit into an inning- ending double play.

Hunter Malachek took the loss for Maple Lake.

Young America 4, New Market 3 Young America and New Market battled 14 innings before the Cardinals scored a walk-off win Sunday in Shakopee.

Two innings earlier, the Cardinals thought they had won the game. With a runner on second and one out, the Cardinals hit a fly ball to center. The Muskies’ centerfielder tried to make a diving catch, but the ball got past him and the runner headed home with the apparent winning run. However, in celebrating the play, the runner leaped over home plate without touching it. While the Cardinals were celebrating, the umpire stood at home plate and waited. Once the runner joined in the celebration, leaving the field of play, he was called out, stunning the crowd.

Unfortunately for the Muskies, they were not able to take advantage of the situation and Young America got the winning run on a hit by Brice Panning - the same player who had gotten what should have been the gamewinning hit in the 12th inning.

New Market had tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning on a squeeze bunt by Nick Rost, which scored Kyle Henkemeyer. Nate Rost had a solo homer for New market in the second.

Andy Hekemeyer drove in Dan Phyle in the sixth with the Muskies’ other run.

Riley Ahern started and went 3-2/3 innings for New Market. Conrad Masberg pitched one inning, then Nate Rost, coming off a complete game a day earlier, came on and pitched 8-1/3 innings, allowing nine hits but only one run while striking out nine. Justin Firpo came on in the 14th and was tagged for the loss, despite striking out two batters.

Young America’s Isaac Hormann got the win, pitching two innings of relief.


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