St. Anthony Village third baseman Charles Peterson waited for the throw from the catcher as St. Cloud Cathedral's Michael Kerber slid into the bag. Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune
With apologies to the rest of the Class 2A field, the marquee game of the quarterfinals was clearly the matchup between No. 1-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral and St. Anthony, two programs with eight state titles between them.
The game lived up to expectations, with Cathedral — the benefactors of playing on a field they consider home — taking advantage of two uncharacteristic St. Anthony mistakes to pull out a 3-1 victory.
Cathedral rode the arm and the bat of senior Andrew Thome, who will pitch for North Dakota next year. Thome pitched a four-hit complete game, walking one and striking out four. He was in control from the outset, throwing his three pitches for strikes.
He also helped himself out at the plate, crushing a 380-foot home run in the bottom of the first inning to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead.
Thome admitted that familiarity with Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud, where Cathedral plays its home games and where the quarterfinals were held, helped his performance.
“It really helps to be at home,” he said. “The mound here is perfect, and I feel really comfortable on it. It’s nice to be able to sleep in your own bed and get a hug from Mom before going to the game.”
Cathedral broke a 1-1 tie with in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to some generosity from St. Anthony.
An error at third base and a failure to cover second on an ensuing sacrifice bunt attempt put runners on first and second with no outs. Cathedral eventually loaded the bases and took the lead when Matt Dodge drove a two-out fastball from St. Anthony pitcher Nicho Roessler to center field for a single.
“That was the game right there,” St. Anthony coach Troy Urdahl said. “They played flawlessly, and we made a couple of physical mistakes.”