East Ridge Wins First Baseball Championship
The #5 seed East Ridge Raptors of Woodbury had a 5 run fifth inning en route to a 5-2 win over the New Prague Trojans in the Class 4A State title game at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Raptors hammered 4 consecutive hits and 6 total in the big inning. Three of the hits were doubles.
It was the first appearance ever by East Ridge in the MSHSL Class AAAA State Baseball Tournament. Unseeded New Prague had a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the 5th with ace pitcher junior Luke Tupy going 4 and 2/3 innings. Tupy allowed 6 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, 0 walks, 10 strikeouts. All three doubles were hit off him in the 5th inning eruption. Tupy faced 20 batters and threw 78 pitches. Junior Jack Kreutzian threw the final inning and a third with 3 hits allowed, 2 earned runs, 8 batters faced, 26 pitches thrown.
The Trojans were making their first trip to the State Baseball Tournament since 1980. New Prague scored in the top of the third inning when senior Collin Dorzinski reached base following a single. He scored after junior Will Busch smacked a double giving the Trojans a 1-0 lead.
East Ridge senior Ryan Thelen pitched all 7 innings to notch the win for the Raptors allowing 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 3 hit batsmen. Faced 30 batters with 100 pitches thrown.
In the bottom of the 5th inning with one out senior Joe Trollen doubled, then seniors Tanner Stafne and Carter Seidl each singled followed by back to back doubles by freshman Weber Neels and senior Anthony Lavalle. The second out was recorded before senior Cam Hunter hit a single. The final run scored on an error.
New Prague finished their season 18-9 and East Ridge 20-6. The Trojans played 6 Big Nine Conference schools and were 3-3 against them.
The Raptors ended their season on an 11 game winning streak.