Nerves? Oh yes, there were plenty of nerves for the ballplayers who walked into Target Field for Monday’s baseball state championship games.
For BOLD pitcher Logan Sandgren, the nerves struck long before the first pitch of the Class 1A game at 10 a.m.
“I woke up at about 3:30, sat up for a little bit, had the butterflies. Eventually I went back to bed,” he said. “I got up at 6:30 and went to breakfast. I still had unbelievable nerves.”
Once the lefthanded junior took the mound against Osakis, however, the nerves were nowhere to be seen … even if Sandgren was still feeling them. He very nearly pitched a no-hitter for the third consecutive game, giving up one hit in BOLD’s 3-0 victory over the Silverstreaks.
“I was nervous the first couple innings,” Sandgren said. “I was wild, and I sort of calmed down, put the ball in there and let the defense do its job.”
He threw 112 pitches, walked five and struck out six. The only hit for Osakis was a liner to center field by Douglas Zimmel with one out in the sixth inning. Sandgren had previously thrown no-hitters in the Section 2 playoffs and the state quarterfinals. Three games, one hit. Not bad, kid.
“He was a little more wild, he walked a few more but he was dominant again,” BOLD coach Brian Kingery said. “He battled. The thing with Logan is he gets better when he gets in the stretch. So he might walk a guy or have people on base, but he’s tough when he gets in the stretch. He bears down and he takes care of business.”
Tyler Seehusen had two hits and drove in two runs for the Warriors, and Sawyer Tersteeg also had an RBI.
KASSON’S QUESTION MARK IS ANSWERED
Coming into this season, a big question for the baseball team from Kasson-Mantorville revolved around the pitchers mound. The KoMets’ hitting appeared to be solid from the get-go, but senior Joey Hyde was the only experienced pitcher returning.
All the questions were answered as the season went along, and the capper came with an 8-1 victory over Perham in Monday’s Class 2A state championship game. The KoMets finished with a record of 25-6 in winning their first state title, leaning on Hyde and fellow seniors Charlie Meyer and Riley Donovan.
By Kasson-Mantorville coach Broc Threinen’s reckoning, Donovan and Meyer combined to pitch only four innings during the 2012 season.
“We just had a lot of seniors throw last year,” the coach said. “We knew Charlie would be a good thrower. He had a good year last year in Legion and Riley did, too.”
Hyde gave up only five hits against Perham, striking out five and walking three while throwing 105 pitches. He also had one of the KoMets’ dozen hits; they scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning to give Hyde a cushion.
“I was a little nervous but I felt confident that we would hit the ball and that I would throw strikes,” he said. “And we came out in the first inning and got three runs right away. It gave me a lot of confidence. I never looked back.”
BIG HITS AND A STATE TITLE
Mounds View put on the biggest hitting display of Championship Monday, knocking out 14 hits in its 8-0 victory over Rocori in the Class 3A title game. Sam Hentges nearly hit for the cycle, belting a single, double and triple and driving in two runs for the Mustangs.
“We had a lot of focus today coming to the ballpark,” he said. “We took BP, on the bus we were all focused, people swung the bats today. It was a good day.”
Max Knutson was the winning pitcher for Mounds View, striking out nine and walking one while throwing 90 pitches.
“One of our goals from the beginning of the season was to make it to state,” Hentges said. “And our coach and our captains were like, ‘Why not win state, right?’ ” We thought we had the talent, a good team with a ton of seniors. We thought we could.”
CLASS 1A/ Danny Kneeland, Windom; Riley Bernsdorf, Floodwood; Austin Baab, Cory Loechler, Wabasha-Kellogg; Alex Kleve, St. Agnes; Nick Kupfer, New York Mills; Riley Kramer, Logan Sandgren, Tyler Seehusen, BOLD; Jordan Frederick, Kilar Zimmel, Drew Fearing, Osakis.
CLASS 2A/ Zach Muckenhirn, Delano; Skyler Wenninger, Luverne; Matt Elsenpeter, Michael Herd, Watertown-Mayer; Jeff Fasching, Steven Neutzling, St. Cloud Cathedral; Josh Still, Eric Brauch, Austin Erickson, Perham; Riley Donovan, Jayden Prigge, Joey Hyde, Kasson-Mantorville.
CLASS 3A/ Beau Fandel, Forest Lake; Zach Creighton, Lakeville North; Tyler Kelm, Logan Shore, Coon Rapids; Luke Pettersen, Jared Ridge, Minnetonka; Mac Mueller, Reed Pfannenstein, Rocori; Alex Abercrombie, Sam Hentges, Max Knutson, Charlie Callahan, Mounds View.
--Kasson-Mantorville’s Hyde got a sneak peak at Target Field on Sunday when he watched the Twins play the Detroit Tigers. In addition to visualizing himself on the mound, he also got a behind-the-scenes tour. “Our coach has a friend who works here and he gave me a tour of all the stuff,” Joey said. “I didn’t have to worry about coming here and being overly excited. I had already seen it.”
--Classy move by Twins general manager Terry Ryan, who came down on the field from his booth on the press level to congratulate the state champion BOLD Warriors.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 747
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 10,440
(*During the 2012-13 school year)
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