- by Brett Kruschke & Mike Schultz
The setting was familiar for Team Tigertown on Saturday but unfortunately so was the result, as the Sartell Muskies ended the Tigers’ season with a shutout for the second consecutive year in the Class ‘C’ state tournament. Last year the Tigers suffered a 10-0 whitewashing in the Class ‘C’ state title game in Maple Lake; this time, in second-round action in front of the home crowd in Belle Plaine, it was a 4-0 setback.
Despite the fact that Sartell ace David Deminsky missed the game due to injury, right-hander Adam Wenker very much looked the part as he tossed a complete-game four-hitter. Wenker issued a pair of walks and struck out eight in his impressive showing.
The four runs Belle Plaine gave up to Sartell was the most it had yielded in a game since July 17. What’s more, in the six games preceding Saturday’s loss to the Muskies, the Tigers had gone 5-1 and outscored their opponents, 52-4.
The Tigers finish the season with a 15-15 record, with 12 of those games coming against teams that qualified for this year’s state tournament. The Tigers went 9-4 in the Central Division of the River Valley League, finishing second to the Jordan Brewers, who went 13-0.
While the season between the lines is over, a busy weekend lies ahead with the third and final weekend of the Minnesota Amateur Baseball State Tournament. Tiger Park will host two games on Friday at 5 pm and 7:30 pm, four games on Saturday and Sunday – at 11 am, 1:30 pm, 5 pm and 7:30 pm – with one game on Monday: the Class ‘B’ championship at 2 pm Monday. Follow the action as well this weekend on these Twitter accounts: @bptigertown and @BPJordan2014.
An amazing amount of time has gone into preparations for running a first-class tournament and making our ballpark look its absolute best, so please come out and support the cause for one final weekend of top-flight baseball. You’ll be glad you did!
Sartell 4 @ BP 0 (Saturday, Aug. 23 – Class ‘C’ State Tournament, Second Round)
After the Tigers 10-2 win in the first round of the state tournament El Tigre was rewarded with a rematch against the team that beat them in the state championship the year before, the Sartell Muskies. In 2013 Sartell beat Belle Plaine 10-0 in seven innings. This year the Tigers had all their pitchers available, hadn't played 26 innings of baseball the day before and were looking to get a little revenge.
It looked like Team Tigertown would pounce on the Muskies early as they had runners on first and second with only one out in the bottom of the first. But in what has become a recurring theme this year the Chatfield Nine couldn't get a big hit when they needed them and both runners were stranded.
In the bottom of the first the Muskies did what Los Tigres could not do and got a big hit with two outs. After three walks to start the inning a wild pitch plated the first run for the Muskies. Two strikeouts by Tigers starter Ryan Diers made it runners on second and third with two outs, but Jace Otto of the Muskies clubbed a two run-double to center that Travis Latzke couldn’t corral. Sartell added an insurance run in the fourth to make it 4-0 and that's the way the game would end.
The Tigers struggled offensively, only collecting four hits on the day with singles for Travis Latzke, Brad Lawson and Pat Schultz. Dan Huber had a double, and that was all Tigertown could muster.
After the shaky first Diers settled in and threw well, giving up only one more run the rest of the way and went the distance. He ended up with 13 K's against a very solid Sartell lineup, but in the immortal words of whoever said it first, it's hard to win with zero runs.