Thursday, May 30, 2019

Baseball playoffs

The B-B-E Jaguars baseball team is advancing to the winner's bracket final in the Section 6A tournament! For the second year in a row!

In the afternoon game, the Jaguars beat Upsala/Swanville Area 3-1. Then in the evening game they won and gritty fashion by a 3-2 score over Border West (17-3). Senior Payton VanBeck pitched a complete game in the nightcap. I managed to get video of the final out and will post that later tonight.

In the bottom of the seventh with the Jaguars nursing a 3-2 lead, Border West started off with back-to-back singles. VanBeck then pitched a strikeout for the first out. And what a huge out it was! What followed was a beauty to take in, as the senior left hander threw two final strikeouts to end the game. He finished with 10 strikeouts, two walks and six hits with one earned run. Helping the cause was five stolen bases by B-B-E compared to just one by the Buccaneers.

The Border West game featured two senior pitchers both going all seven innings; Border West's Sam Adelman, a senior at Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, pitched 113 pitches while taking a hard-luck loss. B-B-E's Payton VanBeck threw 115 pitches.

Also noteworthy: Border West had seven seniors in their starting lineup. B-B-E had four senior starters tonight. Border West has just two juniors on their roster, and B-B-E has one. Border West, the QRF's No. 6-ranked team in Class 1A, is a second-year baseball co-op between the schools of C-G-B, Wheaton Area and Herman-Norcross. They are the two-time defending Pheasant Conference champions.

Jackson Peter, a junior, pitched a complete game against USA, who later pounded West Central Area 15-1 in their evening elimination game. USA advance to next week's action with a 14-7 record.

*Below, watch the final out recorded tonight in the bottom of the seventh plus the post-game huddle:

**If you've got a little time on your hands, take in this five-minute long video showing the final part of last year's game with Border West, which took place in the exact same spot in the Section 6A tournament bracket...the Jaguars won 3-1 in that game for a 3-0 start in the playoffs:

Next in the playoffs: the Jaguars (12-9) play at 5 p.m. next Tuesday, June 4 at Minnewaska Area. Their opponent will be a team out of the north half of Section 6A. That opponent will be the undefeated team out of the north half Section 6A. *Update: that opponent next Tuesday will be the No. 1 seed in Sub-Section 6A-North, the New York Mills Eagles. They defeated Brandon-Evansville tonight and are 16-3 on the season. Earlier today, New York Mills edged Parkers Prairie 3-2 in eight innings. The Eagles went 12-2 in the Park Region Conference this season to finish one game out of first place behind champion Wadena-Deer Creek.

Area baseball playoff scores on May 30:
Brandon-Evansville 11, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale 3
Border West 3, West Central Area 0 (opening-game of the day)
Osakis 14, Sauk Centre 10 (Mainstreeters went 1-2 in Section 6AA and finish 10-13 overall)
Annandale 8, Royalton 4 (Royals, who will join the CMC next year, finish 14-8)
Fairmont 2, New London-Spicer 1
Maple Lake 6, Litchfield 5 (HUGE win for the Irish over the top seed in the 15-team Section 5AA; the Dragons had hopes of state according to the Willmar newspaper but went 1-2 in their playoffs)
Pierz 4, St. Cloud Cathedral 1 (CMC champion Pierz stays in the Section 6AA winner's bracket and is 3-0 so far in the playoffs)
Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City 2, Pipestone Area 0 (Falcons stay alive with an elimination bracket win in Section 3AA)

Area fastpitch playoff results on May 29/30:
Randolph 7, Kimball Area 0 (Cubs lose in the Section 4A championship game after coming out of the loser's bracket)
Norwood-Young America 5, Maple Lake 1
N-YA 4, Maple Lake 2 (Central Minnesota Conference champion Irish fall in the Section 5AA championship series; they were state runners-up in 2017 and state champions in 2018)
West Central Area 15, Frazee 11
New York Mills 13, WCA 0 (NYM Eagles win the Section 6A title for the seventh year in a row; they won the Class 1A state title in 2017 and 2018)

Also, Pierz, runners-up in the CMC, lost 6-2 to St. Cloud Cathedral on Tuesday this week after picking up four wins in the Section 6AA playoffs. They finish 19-7 overall after going 11-3 in their last-ever trip through the CMC schedule. Next fall they join the Granite Ridge Conference. St. Cloud Cathedral then went 1-1 against Annandale in the Section 6AA championship series to finish as runners-up.

And thank you once again to our local business partners! They are a huge part of the Bonanza Valley Voice newspaper's sports department. Without their loyal support, there would be no newspaper sports department.

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