State Baseball: Randolph rocks MACCRAY early
Rockets score eight runs in opening inning to win Class A opener over Wolverines
ST. CLOUD — It took no time at all for Class A’s top offense to showcase itself.
Second-seeded Randolph saw its first five batters get hits on unseeded MACCRAY in the first inning of the Class A state baseball quarterfinals. The hit parade continued as the Rockets put up eight runs on eight hits and one Wolverine error in the opening frame.
Randolph advanced to the semifinals with a 10-0 win in five innings at Joe Faber Field.
“We’ve been waiting for a while to play again and they’ve been itching to hit,” said Randolph head coach Chris Stanton. “At batting practice, they were like, we’re feeling good. And they did what you got to do;. You’ve got to put the ball in play and hit line drives against good pitching.
“They’re excited. They’ve got some goals they want to accomplish here.”
The Rockets (23-1) face third-seeded New York Mills in the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday back at Faber Field. The Eagles advanced with a 10-1 win over unseeded Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale.
Falling to the consolation bracket, the Wolverines (15-7) face Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale at 12:15 p.m. at Bob Cross Field in Sauk Rapids. The winner plays in the consolation championship against the winner of New Ulm Cathedral and South Ridge at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Faber Field.
“We got behind the eight ball,” said MACCRAY head coach Nate Hebrink, “and it was tough sledding from there.”
He added, “That’s a tough situation to go against the number two-seeded team in the state. And they were fired up. They were here last year and have 10 seniors. They’ve gone through this rodeo and this was our first at this.”
MACCRAY led off Tuesday’s quarterfinals on a high note courtesy of senior leadoff hitter Gavin Husman. Hours after shooting an 86 in the opening round of the Class A state golf tournament 23 miles away in Becker, Husman legged out an infield single.
“(My legs) felt fine,” Husman said with a laugh. “I’ve walked plenty of golf, so I wasn’t very sore going up for that first hit.”
“I know he’s tired,” Hebrink said. “But he’s a senior and he’s going to give it everything he’s got. We couldn’t be more proud of the guy.”
After that, the offensive highlights were few for the Wolverines. Ethan Strommer had a single in the third and Brooks Asche led off the fourth with a single.
Randolph starter Jacob Weckop struck out six with two hits and one walk over three innings to earn the win. His brother, Jacob Weckop, followed up with three strikeouts in the fourth. Will Baldus did not allow a hit in the fifth.
“Nate did a great job and threw 41 pitches,” Stanton said. “Then we had the other two use it as a bullpen. They got some pitching in and got those nerves out pitching at state.”
Even without the strong pitching performances, the Rockets’ offense crushed the ball early.
Randolph had 12 batters step up to the plate against Asche, MACCRAY’s starter. Nathan Weckop and Tayven Geiger both had two-run doubles in the bottom of the first. Jacob Weckop also had a two-out RBI triple in the frame.
Eight Rocket players finished with a hit, with Andrew Jenkins, Jacob Weckop and Baldus all collecting two hits in the victory.
“We had some plays that we could have made to shorten that run a little bit,” Husman said. “We came ready to play. But they made some plays and we didn’t. That’s sometimes how it goes.”
Hit with the loss, Asche pitched all four innings for the Wolverines, striking out five.
“I think tomorrow we’re going to have a much better ball game,” Hebrink said, “and be a lot tighter on defense and hit the ball a little better.”
Class A state quarterfinals
Randolph 10, MACCRAY 0
MACCRAY 000 00-0 3 2
Randolph 820 0x-10 11 1
Hitting - MACCRAY: Gavin Husman 1-2 bb, Isaac Strommer 0-2 bb, Dreyer Homan 0-2, Brooks Asche 1-2, Xavier Noble 0-2, Joe Heidecker 0-2, Emery Aker 0-2, Grayson Ahrenholz 0-2, Ethan Strommer 1-2 … Randolph: Andrew Jenkins 2-3 r-2 rbi, Jacob Weckop 2-3 3b r rbi sbi, Nathan Weckop 1-3 r rbi-2, Mason Lorenzen 1-2 2b r-2 rbi bb, Will Baldus 2-3 r-2, Evan Bennerotte 0-2 rbi sf, Tayven Geiger 1-3 r rbi, Collin Otto 1-3 2b r rbi-2, Brayden Olsen 1-2 rbi
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - MACCRAY: Asche (L) 4-11-10-7-1-5 … Randolph: N. Weckop (W) 3-2-0-0-1-6, J. Weckop 1-1-0-0-0-3, Baldus 1-0-0-0-1-0
Class A state baseball tournament
1-Hayfield 5, New Ulm Cathedral 4
4-Sacred Heart 10, 5-South Ridge 4
2-Randolph 10, MACCRAY 0
3-New York Mills 10, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 1
1-Hayfield (23-2) vs. 4-Sacred Heart (22-3), 11 a.m. at Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud
2-Randolph (23-1) vs. 3-New York Mills (23-3), 1:30 p.m. at Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud
New Ulm Cathedral (22-4) vs. South Ridge (17-8), 10 a.m. at Bob Cross Field, Sauk Rapids
MACCRAY (15-7) vs. Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale (11-15), 12:15 p.m. at Bob Cross Field, Sauk Rapids
Semifinals losers, 3:30 p.m. at Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud
Consolation semifinals winners, 5:30 p.m. at Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud
Semifinals winners, 10 a.m. at Target Field, Minneapolis