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Prep Baseball: BOLD back in state after epic 2A comeback

Photo by Steve Muscatello/The Journal of New Ulm BOLD’s Joel Erickson slides safely into home as New Ulm Cathedral catcher Jack Schwartz looks for the ball during the first game of the Section 2A Championship Thursday at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato.

MANKATO — It took six straight wins to do it, but the defending Class A state champion BOLD Warriors are back in the tournament.

The No. 2-seed Warriors, who lost in the second round of the Section 2A tournament to Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s, had to go undefeated all the way through the losers’ bracket and beat No. 1-seed New Ulm Cathedral twice on Thursday at Franklin Rogers Park to make it back to the tourney.

And they did just that, topping the Crusaders 11-4 in Game 1 to force a final game, and the Warriors prevailed 8-6 in a back-and-forth Game 2 to earn a chance to defend their Class A championship.

The Warriors’ run this postseason is reminiscent of their 2013 season, when they entered the postseason on a two-game losing streak, then won eight-straight game to win the championship.

Along the way, the Warriors notched five shutouts, three no-hitters, and Logan Sandgren’s one-hitter in a 3-0 victory over Osakis in the title game at Target Field.

A Game 1 loss on Thursday would’ve ended BOLD’s season, but Sandgren was again dominant, striking out 10 in five innings. Trent Athmann was 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.

The big blow came in the sixth inning when BOLD plated four on two hits, two hit batters and an error.

Athmann started Game 2 and pitched into the fifth inning, leaving with a 7-5 lead, and eventually earning the win.

Cathedral briefly led, going up 3-2 in the fourth, but the Warriors put it away in the top of the fifth, batting around with four hits and five runs.

Lane Stadther, Riley Kramer and Max Buchtel each had two hits, and Stadther and Buchtel drove in two runs apiece.

The Class A tournament will seed Saturday morning.

Game One

BOLD 11, NU Cathedral 4

BOLD 131 104 1 — 11 12 2

NU Cathedral 101 002 0 — 4 5 3

HITTING – BOLD: Trent Athmann 4-5, 2b-2, r-3, rbi-2, Lane Stadther 1-3, r-2, Trevor Nissen 2-3, rbi, Logan Sandgren 2-4, rbi-3, Tyler Lothert 2-4, Max Buchtel 1-3, rbi-2 … NUC: Gabe Knowles 2-4, 2b, r-2, Jack Schwartz 2-3, rbi

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — BOLD: Sandgren (W) 5-3-2-1-1-10; Brett Grund 2-2-2-2-3-2 … NCU: Collin Helget (L) 3-7-5-3-1-1; Nathan Palmer 2.1-2-5-1-0-1; Russell Hoffman 1.2-3-1-1-0-2

Game Two

BOLD 8, NU Cathedral 6

BOLD 200 050 1 — 8 9 1

NU Cathedral 000 321 0 — 6 5 2

HITTING – BOLD: Trent Athmann 1-3, Lane Stadther 2-5, 2b, rbi-2, Trevor Nissen 1-3, 2b, r-2, rbi, Riley Kramer 2-5, rbi, Logan Sandgren 1-3, rbi, Max Buchtel 2-4, rbi-2 … NUC: Brandon Beranek 2-3, HR, rbi-2, r-2

PITCHING (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — BOLD: Athmann (W) 4-4-5-5-4-2; Brett Grund 2-1-1-1-0-0; Sandgren 1-0-0-0-1-2 … NUC: Gabe Knowles (L) 5-7-7-2-4-2; Michael Skillings 2-2-1-1-2-0