Mark Aho wasn’t worried, even when his team was in the throes of a seven-game losing streak.
The Fergus Falls coach had experienced this before; the Otters finished last in their conference in 2009 before getting hot and advancing to the Class 2A championship game. History has a way of repeating itself and now Fergus Falls is one victory away from another title game.
“Baseball is about getting hot at the right time,” Aho said. “We’ve cut down on our mistakes, and we’re playing really well right now.”
Pitcher Zach Rengel baffled Kasson-Mantorville through seven innings. The senior lefty, whose control problems were at the center of Fergus Falls’ early season losses, gave up three hits, struck out nine and faced just three batters over the minimum.
La Crescent 5, Delano 1: The Lancers victory was Baseball 101 — take an early lead, pitch well and play sound defense.
For the third consecutive season, La Crescent advanced to the Class 2A semifinals, beating Delano on the strength of a three-run first inning, a rock-solid performance on the mound from junior lefthander Eric Veglahn and an outfield that refused to let fly balls drop.
Sparked by junior igniter Troy Traxler, who led off with a hit on the first pitch of the game, three of La Crescent’s first four batters scored, staking Veglahn to a 3-0 lead before he even took the mound.
“It’s really nice,” he said. “But it can be more nerve-wracking because you don’t want to give it back.”