Class A State Baseball: BOLD in championship game
JORDAN – St. Agnes baseball coach Mike Streitz stopped BOLD coach Brian Kingery for a few seconds after the Warriors’ 12-4 thumping of the defending Class A champions in the state semifinals Friday at the Mini Met.
“I told him that however early they let you into Target Field, get there a half-hour before that,” Streitz said. “Let the kids walk around, get over the awe. It will go a long way to taking the edge off.”
No team has been able to take the edge off the Warriors yet in seven postseason games. BOLD earned their big trip to Class A title game on the Minnesota Twins home field with another impressive offensive performance against a top Class A opponent.
After falling behind 1-0 early, the Warriors took advantage of three Aggies errors to score four runs in the third inning, and Logan Sandgren’s two-run home run was the highlight of a seven-run fifth that sewed up BOLD’s seventh-straight win.
“It was a big game, to get to Target Field,” Logan said. “There are no words to describe it.”
The Warriors will play the winner of the Osakis-New York Mills semifinal for the championship at 10 a.m. Monday. New York Mills beat the Warriors in last year’s consolation bracket.
“We’re so excited for that,” said winning pitcher Riley Kramer, who also had two hits and drove in two runs Friday. “We’ll soak this one up for awhile and we’ll get to that one later.”
That’s been an approach that’s worked for the Warriors so far. Except for a raucous home plate greeting for Sandgren after his home run, BOLD’s players have taken a matter-of-fact attitude towards their postseason victories. That applies to Monday, as well.
“We know we just have to go out and play the same game we always do,” Sandgren said.
On Friday, St. Agnes used some aggressive baserunning to push across a run in the first inning and Aggies starter Nick Turch kept BOLD off the board in the first two innings, despite some shaky defense.
But it fell apart on the Aggies in the third. Two errors and Kramer’s run-scoring double gave BOLD a 2-1 lead, and it appeared the Warriors would strand a pair of runners when Sawyer Tersteeg lifted a high two-out pop fly directly over second base. Aggies second baseman Joey Graham and shortstop Ryan Hernandez both lost the ball in the bright sky and it fell in, hitting the bag and allowing both runners to score.
The Aggies countered with a pair of runs off Kramer in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-3 but in the fifth, six BOLD hits and another Aggies error later, the Warriors boosted their edge to 11-3. St. Agnes collectively sagged when Sandgren’s 320-foot blast cleared the Mini Met’s green wall.
“It felt really good,” Sandgren said. “I didn’t know it was gone but I knew it was somewhere over there. Maybe off the wall. I was just trying to meet it. All I wanted was a base hit. Fortunately, it was in the right spot.”
Trevor Nissen was another of BOLD’s hitting stars, going 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and he scored twice. Tyler Seehusen also had two hits, had an RBI and scored twice, and Tyler Rock doubled, drove in a run and scored.
“Hitting is contagious,” Kramer said. “We’re all able to hit. Logan has been huge for us and he really got us going with that home run. We feed off each other.”
Kramer was able to work out of some rough patches to piece together a solid complete game. He scattered 11 hits but gave up just two earned runs to improve to 6-1.
“I was more excited than nervous,” Kramer said. “We’ve got a great catcher calling the game for us and I’ve got great players behind me.”
“They’re awesome,” he said. “We knew when we watched them in the state tournament last year that they were going to be good this year.”
Just how good remains to be seen, at Target Field on Monday.
“Because it’s at Target Field, we know we’re going to be excited,” Sandgren said. “Hopefully, we direct all that excitement the right way.”