As good as the pitching was all day at the state Class 1A tournament, the best was saved for last.
Senior Adam Snelgrove of New York Mills, unbeaten and considered by most as the best pitcher in the field, and sophomore Jack Fossand of St. Agnes hooked up in a good-old fashioned pitcher’s duel with Fossand and the Aggies coming out on top 1-0 in a quarterfinal matchup at Athletic Park in Chaska on Thursday, June 14.
St. Agnes (21-6) advances to play Blackduck (23-3) in a 2:30 p.m. semifinal at Athletic Park. New York Mills (23-1) plays BOLD in a consolation semifinal at 12:30 p.m. at the Mini Met in Jordan.
It took the most unusual set of circumstances to even produce the game’s only run. With one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, St. Agnes sophomore Joe McDonald struck out but reached second base when the ball bounced away from the catcher on the third strike and he couldn’t locate the ball near the Aggies dugout.
After sophomore Nick Turch bunted McDonald to third, Aggies coach Mite Streitz decided to take a chance. He called for a straight steal of home by McDonald on an 0-1 pitch. Snelgrove delivered the ball to home plate, but the third base umpire called a balk for the game’s lone run.
Both pitchers only gave up three hits apiece. They combined for 21 strikeouts, 12 by Fossand.
-- Ron Haggstrom, Star Tribune staff writer