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Class 3A, Section 3 championship: St. Thomas Academy defeats Two Rivers to force Game 2

By Luke Hanlon, SportsEngine, 06/07/22, 5:30PM CDT


The Cadets jumped to a big lead with four runs in the first inning and face the Warriors Thursday with a state tournament berth on the line.

Two Rivers' Mason Boyken is tagged out by St. Thomas Academy shortstop Daniel Dahl on a stolen base attempt in the second inning. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

After losing to Two Rivers 4-3 last Friday in the section semifinal, St. Thomas Academy has had to play with its back against the wall ever since. 

While the preference would still be playing out of the championship bracke, the Cadets have thrived under pressure. 

“We’ve talked all year long in trusting our process rather than focusing on outcomes, and these guys have done a great job sticking together,” St. Thomas Academy head coach Bobby Thompson said. 

Two Rivers' shortstop Mason Boyken avoids St. Thomas baserunner Michael Stavseth as he charges a ground ball during the fifth inning of Tuesday night's game. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine.

First Report

St. Thomas Academy kept its season alive with a 7-4 win over Two Rivers in the 3A, Section 3 championship on Tuesday.

The Cadets (18-7, 11-5) poured it on early. Leadoff hitter Bobby Cunningham reached on an error. The next three batters all hit singles and Cunningham scored thanks to an RBI single from Bennett Kotok. Two Rivers starter Raul Vaz struck out the next two batters, and it looked
like he would escape with minimal damage done. But Jonathan Dobis walked to drive in a run. Michael Stavseth hit a single to score two more runs to make it 4-0.

Nick Becker then continually mowed down Warriors (18-6, 11-5) hitters, as he carried a no hitter into the fourth inning. Carson Christianson was the one who broke up the no-hit bid. And he would’ve scored later in the fourth if not for a great play by Cunningham in center. Patrick Karlen crushed a ball to deep left-center field and Cunningham snagged it after a long run toward the

Cunningham then hit an RBI double and Daniel Dahl added an RBI single to make it 6-0 in the
bottom of the fourth.

The Warriors got on the board thanks to an RBI single by Brayden Bruns to bring in Eli Chandler. They added three runs in the sixth, with two of them coming off a deep double by Blake Eckmann.

Cunningham added another RBI in the fifth inning by drawing a bases-loaded walk to add an insurance

These two will play again on Thursday to decide the section championship and who will play in
the 3A state tournament.

Two Rivers' right-hander Raul Vaz delivers in the second inning Tuesday night against St. Thomas Academy at Richfield High School. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

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