Mounds View 2, Forest Lake 1: The Mustangs believed it was only a matter of when, not if. That “when” finally showed up in the bottom of seventh inning, with Mounds View and Forest Lake (18-6) tied 1-1.
Charlie Callahan and Austin Smestad singled with two outs before Alec Abercrombie hit a groundball single up the middle to score Callahan with the game-winning run.
Co-Metro Player of the Year Max Knutson picked up the win on the mound. The lefthander struck out six, allowed five hits and kept hitters off balance most of the game.
“We knew we were going to pull it out. It was just a matter of when,” Knutson said. “It was huge to go up and be the first one to score.”
Mounds View (18-6) struck in the fourth inning after Knutson’s leadoff line-drive single was misplayed by the Rangers’ center fielder. Knutson advanced to third on the error and later scored on an infield hit by Justin Ortt.
Rangers catcher Beau Fandel fouled off several of Knutson’s two-strike offerings before lining an RBI-single into right field to score Forest Lake's only run of the game in the fifth inning.
Mounds View advances to play Coon Rapids in Friday’s semifinals.
Mounds View's Alec Abercrombie was mobbed by teammates after he hit a single to score the winning run against Forest Lake. Star Tribune photo: Bruce Bisping * firstname.lastname@example.org
Logan Shore waited for the state’s biggest stage to throw his first no-hitter. The Coon Rapids pitcher held Wayzata hitless to secure a 2-0 victory Thursday in the Class 3A quarterfinals at Midway Stadium.
Making his first career state tournament start and with seven days of rest, the righthander shook off a pair of defensive errors behind him in the first inning and struck out the side to end the Trojans’ only threat.
“It’s always a good time when you throw your first no-hitter ever,” Shore said after signing a few autographs. “It’s the state tournament. You’ve got to be a little more psyched.”
Coon Rapids’ defense settled down after making a third error and Shore remained in command to keep any Wayzata (15-7) base runners stranded on first base.
The Trojans’ defense and pitching were good, but its offense was helpless against Shore’s ability to locate his pitches. Leadoff hitter Michael Fecho expected a challenge, but nothing impossible. Wayzata’s top hitter became two of Shore’s eight strikeouts.
“He’s spot on with location [of pitches]. That’s a complete pitcher right there,” Fecho said.
Coon Rapids (17-3) scored in the third inning off an RBI-double by Alex Boxwell. Shore helped produce an insurance run when he doubled to lead off the sixth inning and was driven in by Anthony Mrosla.
“That hit, and run, was really important. Maybe they get lucky and get one run [against Shore],” Mrosla said. “But there’s no chance they get two runs.”
Coon Rapids pitcher Logan Shore celebrated his no hitter at the end of the game against Wayzata. Photo: Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune * email@example.com
Rocori didn’t have many opportunities to score. The one inning it did, though, the Spartans got just enough to claim a spot in the semifinals. The Spartans sent eight hitters to plate during an three-run fifth inning and held on for a 3-2 victory over Lakeville North in the quarterfinals.
Panthers starting pitcher Jordan Jacobson worked swiftly through the first four innings before starting the fifth with a walk. Rocori (17-8) responded with hits from Reed Pfannenstein, Mac Mueller, Marshal Wirtzfeld, and Austin Athmann for a three-run outburst.
“We got that big inning by getting our leadoff guy on and getting key hits,” Mueller said after a two-hit effort. “That gave us more confidence.”
Lakeville North (19-5) led 2-0 at that point, on RBI singles from Erik Rutt in the second inning and Ben Jensen in the fourth. The Panthers put a base runner on second base in the final half inning, but left the game-tying run stranded.
Minnetonka’s Josh Falk ended a long day of baseball in the bottom of the 11th inning of the final Class 3A quarterfinal Thursday night. The sophomore designated hitter singled through the middle to score Derek Branson and defeat Rochester Mayo 3-2.
The Skippers (22-6) extended the game with only one out remaining in the bottom of the seventh. Luke Pettersen’s line drive into left scored Kyle Hoffman and set up the throwing error that allowed the game-tying run to score. The Spartans left fielder’s throw to the infield short-hopped the third baseman and ricocheted off his shins to allow Zach Amundson to score.
It took an inning for Minnetonka starting pitcher Joe Martinson to find a rhythm, and while he did that, Rochester Mayo capitalized. The Spartans offense put together two runs on a walk, two wild pitches, and two hits, for a pair runs.
Mayo passed on two potential scoring opportunities in the fifth and six innings. After singles to the outfield in each situation, the third-base coach held the runner coming from second base and rounding third. Minnetonka then worked out both threats with double plays.
The Spartans also loaded the bases with only one out in the top of the 11th, but failed to score.