Prep baseball: BOLD breezes into second round of state tourney
CHASKA — The BOLD Warriors had to win six straight games through the losers’ bracket of the Section 2A tournament to gain entry to the Class A state baseball tournament, but they received the No. 1 seed. The defending champs showed why Thursday with a dominating 8-0 first-round win over Red Lake County at Chaska Athletic Park.
Logan Sandgren struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced, finishing with 14 in six one-hit innings.
“I was just trying to hit spots and make them swing,” Sandgren said. “If they hit it they hit, but they didn’t really hit it.”
The Warriors’ offense was just as good, scoring seven runs in the first three innings.
Lane Stadther and Trevor Nissen each had three hits, and Riley Kramer had three RBI.
BOLD didn’t waste any time, as the first three batters of the game reached base to bring up cleanup hitter Kramer who laced a two-run single to left. After a flyout, Ben Steffel drove in the third run of the inning on a fielder’s choice.
“I was just going up there looking for something good to hit and hit it hard,” Kramer said.
They continued to pepper Eagles’ starter Lars Brevik, touching him up for two runs on four hits in the second and two runs on one hit in the third to take a 7-0 lead.
The Warriors had 14 hits in all, including two each from Trent Athmann, Kramer and Joel Erickson.
Nissen and Kramer added RBI singles in the second, and Erickson and Athmann drove in runs in the third.
“Our bats were the most awake we’ve ever been this year,” Sandgren said.
The whole lineup got involved, with just Sandgren and Ben Steffel, who had a first-inning RBI, going hitless.
“We got a great start,” BOLD head coach Brian Kingery said. “Logan struck out the side to start us and settle us down. Then we were able to get three runs early. You can’t ask for a better start than that. Everything was going our way.”
Sandgren was nearly untouchable through the first five innings.
Red Lake County’s Taylor Kenfield put the first bat on ball, flying out to lead off the third. The Eagles got their first baserunner in the fifth when Sandgren hit Bailey Schmitz with a pitch, and finally broke through in the sixth with No. 9 hitter Jake Magnell’s single to right.
After a strikeout, Sandgren walked the next two batters — his only walks of the game — to load the bases, but got Brevik to pop out to end the threat.
“He’s a competitor,” Kingery said. “He wants the ball in his hands and he’s been dominant with it.”
Kramer, the No. 2 starter on last year’s tournament winning-team, came in to pitch the final frame, his first appearance on the mound this season due to an arm injury.
“I’m not going to lie, I felt a little nervous, but I felt good too,” Kramer said. “It was just good to get back out there.”
He shook the rust off quickly, retiring the side in order to wrap up the win.
BOLD improved to 22-3 on the season and Red Lake County fell to 20-6.
Athmann will take the ball for the Warriors today at noon against No. 4 New Life Academy of Woodbury, who beat Springfield 8-2 on Thursday, in the semifinals. The 2:30 p.m. semifinal features unbeaten and No. 2-seed New York Mills and No. 3 Chatfield.
Kingery said he likes their chances today.
“We’re clicking right now,” Kingery said. “We’re doing a lot of really nice things.”
Sandgren said they’re up for the challenge of defending their title.
“It’s always fun to walk right through but it’s so much more fun to have to make those clutch plays and work your way up,” Sandgren said.
Visit http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/showgameinfo.asp?game=762364 for the box score.