Mounds View pitcher Sam Hentges (34) was mobbed by teammates after the Mustangs defeated Coon Rapids Friday at Midway Stadium in St. Paul to advance to the Class 3A baseball state championship. Photo: Bruce Bisping * bbisping@startribune
Without Logan Shore or Max Knutson to face off against one another, Coon Rapids and Mounds View relied on their second- and third-best pitchers. Mounds View proved to have the better supporting staff. The Mustangs' junior lefthanded pitcher Sam Hentges contained Coon Rapids in a 9-4 semifinal victory Friday at Midway Stadium in St. Paul.
The big lefty worked just his second complete game of the season and struck out four and allowed seven hits along the way. Mounds View advances to Monday’s 4 p.m. state championship game at Target Field.
Mounds View ace Max Knutson, who threw a complete game in Thursday’s quarterfinals, started warming up between the sixth and seventh innings for a potential closing opportunity. His services weren’t needed, however.
The Mustangs scored five runs in the top of the seventh, with Hentges driving in the first run with the bases loaded.
Coon Rapids scored runs in each of the final three innings.
Minnetonka did more for Rocori than it did for itself. The Skippers had five official errors and at least three other miscues that helped the Spartans to a 4-1 victory in the Class 3A state semifinals Friday afternoon at Midway Stadium.
Rocori (18-8) took advantage of every opportunity Minnetonka (22-7) gave it, scoring runs in the first and fifth innings off errors to earn a spot against Mounds View in Monday’s Class 3A championship game at Target Field.
The game started with a misplayed groundball by Minnetonka’s shortstop, followed by an error and wild pitch by pitcher Max Fahlsing. The string of mishaps allowed two runs to score. Fahlsing responded by striking out the side and surviving through the next three innings before another string of errors haunted him.
Mac Mueller and Reed Pfannenstein had the Spartans' only two hits, but both could have been ruled errors.
Rocori starting pitcher Jake Hennen allowed just four Minnetonka hits and didn’t allow a run beyond the first inning.
Minnetonka's Griffin Powell was tagged out at home plate by Rocori catcher Kirby Tebrake as he tried to score in the first inning of Friday's Class 3A baseball state tournament semifinal game at Midway Stadium in St. Paul. Photo: Bruce Bisping * bbisping@