Prep baseball: Tough loss ends Lakers’ season
ST. CLOUD — Two extra days of rest for Minnewaska enabled Riley Thompson to get back to the mound for an unexpected start. The sophomore didn’t disappoint his Laker teammates Thursday, but unfortunately one bad play late in the game ended Minnewaska’s season.
Thompson took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before giving up a one-out double in the seventh to Sauk Centre’s Josh Buschette, who eventually scored on a passed ball to give the Mainstreeters a 1-0 win in an elimination game of the Section 6AA playoffs at Dick Putz Field.
“He threw phenomenally well,” said Minnewaska coach Brian Gruber of Thompson, who helped keep Minnewaska alive in the postseason Monday by pitching a complete game in a 4-1 win over Paynesville. “He mixed his pitches and commanded the strike zone. Tonight he was dominating. It was hard to see him lose, but that’s how the game goes.”
The game was scheduled to be played on Tuesday, but recent rains pushed the game back two days.
Thompson finished giving up just the one hit while striking out five and not issuing a walk. But he was tagged with the loss after the Lakers (12-8) couldn’t push across a run with their five hits they got off Sauk Centre’s Pat Knoblauch. Knoblauch scattered six strikeouts and a walk in his complete-game win.
Buschette doubled with one out in the seventh to break up Thompson’s bid for a no-hitter. Then with Nick Adams at the plate, Buschette broke for third on a stolen base attempt on a Thompson pitch that the catcher couldn’t handle. The ball went to the backstop and the catcher’s attempt to throw out Buschette at the plate sailed into the infield. Knoblauch then retired Minnewaska in order in the bottom half of the seventh to send the Mainstreeters (9-10) into the loser’s bracket final against Little Falls.
Matt Paulson, another sophomore, collected two of the Lakers’ five hits. Minnewaska, which swept Sauk Centre in a doubleheader to end the regular season, stranded four runners in scoring position, including Jayden Beecher on third base in the fifth.
Sauk Centre 1,
Sauk Centre 000 000 1 — 1 1 1
Minnewaska 000 000 0 — 0 5 1
HITTING – Sauk Centre: Josh Buschette 1-3 2b … Minnewaska: Austin Giese 1-1, Austin Ostrander 1-3, Luke Nielsen 1-3, Matt Paulson 2-3
PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Sauk Centre: WP-Pat Knoblauch 7-5-0-0-1-6 … Minnewaska: LP-Riley Thompson 7-1-1-0-0-5