Prep Baseball: Warriors go 0-2 Friday to finish fourth at state
CHASKA — New Life Academy’s Sam Horner pitched an eight-inning complete game and Ben Brown drove in the go-ahead run as the No. 4-seed Eagles defeated the defending champion and top-seeded BOLD Warriors 3-2 in the Class A state semifinals on Friday at Chaska Athletic Park.
Tied 2-2 in the eighth inning, the Eagles rallied against BOLD reliever Brett Grund with a single and two walks to load the bases with one out.
Brown then hit a grounder to shortstop Lane Stadther, who got the force at second but couldn’t complete the double play, and NLA’s John Horner scored from third base with the eventual winning run. It was the only earned run allowed by either team.
Sam Horner, relying on his fastball most of the game, came out for the bottom of the eighth and wrapped up the win, setting the Warriors down in order.
“He threw his fastball,” Warriors’ head coach Brian Kingery said. “He didn’t throw his breaking ball for a strike all game. We just didn’t hit. We were getting underneath things a little bit, getting a lot of fly ball outs.
The Warriors didn’t record a hit until Tyler Lothert’s single to right in the fifth inning.
After the Eagles added a valuable insurance run in the top of the sixth on two hits and an error, BOLD took advantage of an error and two catcher’s interference calls to tie it 2-2 in the bottom half.
Stadther started the rally with a hard, one-out single to right. Riley Kramer followed with a liner to third base but interference was called on NLA catcher Simon Killeen and Kramer reached first.
Killeen was called for interference again on the very next batter, Logan Sandgren, on a foul ball to the backstop, loading the bases.
The Eagles still could’ve escaped unscathed, but NLA second baseman Aaron Bouillon let Ben Steffel’s ground ball bounce through his legs and Stadther and Kramer came around with the tying runs.
“I thought when we scored two that we were going to win the game,” Kingery said. “You have to give them credit; they didn’t buckle and were able to get a run. They gave up those two runs, we didn’t earn those. We didn’t deserve to win it.”
BOLD’s Trent Athmann faced off with Sam Horner on the mound, and after the Eagles scored a first-inning unearned run, locked into a pitchers’ duel, trading zeroes until the sixth inning.
“Trent pitched great,” Kingery said. “He battled, he threw strikes, he did awesome. We didn’t make a couple plays we needed to and allowed them to score two unearned runs.”
Athmann didn’t strike a batter out, but walked just one and scattered six hits. It briefly looked like he would have to leave the game when a fourth-inning line drive hit him in the ankle.
Sam Horner finished with four strikeouts, one walk and two hits allowed.
Despite the tough finish, Kingery said he was happy with the Warriors’ season.
“It’s been a great run with these guys,” he said. “To win three conference titles, three section titles and a state title. It’s a remarkable run for any group of individuals. I’m just happy to be their coach.”
They will also have to deal with some roster turnover next season, losing key seniors Logan Sandgren, Kramer and Trevor Nissen.
“We lose some studs,” Kingery said. “We’re going to have other guys step up. It’s a lot of unknown going into next year, but we’re just going to have to continue to get better.”
BOLD FALLS IN THIRD-PLACE GAME
Chatfield scored three runs in four separate innings to earn third-place honors with a 12-6 win over the defending Class A champions on Friday at Chaska Athletic Park.
Chatfield’s Nate was 3-for-3, drove in three runs and scored three times. One of his hits cleared the right field wall, the only home run hit in seven games played at Chaska Athletic Park during the Class A tournament.
BOLD’s Trent Athmann was 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored, and Riley Kramer was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Warriors finished the season 22-5.
Visit http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/showgameinfo.asp?game=762485 for the box score of the third-place game and http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/showgameinfo.asp?game=762462 for the box score of the semifinal game.