The Faribault Lakers and Union Hill Bulldogs gave a packed Bell Field crowd their money's worth tonight.

With two outs, the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning behind 1-0, veteran Nick Rost worked the count to 3-2 after fouling off some pitches.

In the 8th pitch of the at bat Rost stroked a hit back up the middle to score two runs and give the Lakers a 2-1 win and top seed from Region 3C in the 100th Minnesota Baseball Association State Amateur Tournament.  That means a bye opening weekend.

Union Hill advances as #2 seed and Veseli defeated Lonsdale 8-4 yesterday for the #3 seed,

The first two batters in the 9th inning, Nate Rost and Jake Petricka were struck out looking.  Both thought the pitches delivered were outside the strike zone.

Tucker Alstead walked, Jack Jandro was hit by a pitch.

Aiden Tobin smacked a 2-1 count pitch toward shortstop.  He hesitated for a instant before throwing to first base and Tobin beat the throw.  It appeared he thought about going to second but Jandro had a good jump toward second base.

That set up the heroics for Rost who said after the game, "That was my last at bat at Bell Field."

What a terrific memory he shares with family watching.

It was a classic game between two evenly matched teams.  Both ended their regular season in the DRS League with identical records.  Faribault received the top seed in Region 3C by a tiebreaker.

Conrad Masberg started pitching for the Bulldogs and stymied Faribault through six innings.  He threw 91 pitches, 57 strikes with 6 strikeouts, 1 walk and 4 hits allowed.

Charlie Otteson got the tough luck loss after throwing 3 innings with 2 hits allowed, 3 walks, a hit batter and 4 strikeouts.

Give Faribault a lot of credit for fighting off a number of good pitches from Masberg and Otteson.

Otteson finished with 66 pitches in his three innings, 35 strikes.

In the 7th Nate Rost reached on an error to start the Lakers side of the inning.  Jake Petricka executed a sacrifice bunt to move Rost to second base.  It was 0-0 at the time.

Otteson got the next two batters to ground out leaving Rost at third base when the inning ended.

In the top of the 8th inning Union Hill scored off Jake Petricka.  To open the inning catcher Jack Giesen hit a ground ball that was fielded by the shortstop who had a errant throw to first base. An excellent throw resulted in Giesen being thrown out at second.

#9 batter in the order Nathan Osbourne hit a 1-0 count pitch to left field for a single.  Joe Becker stroked a 0-2 count pitch for a double scoring the Bulldogs only run.

Petricka struck out the next two batters to end the inning.  He retired the side in the 9th inning with two strikeouts and a ground out.

Joey Grote started the game on the hill for Faribault and went 5 innings with 70 pitches thrown, 48 strikes.  He allowed 2 hits, 0 walks, hit a batter and struck out 5.

Petricka was credited with the win, throwing 57 pitches in the final four innings with 45 strikes.  He struck out 6 of the 16 batters faced, did not walk any batters and gave up 3 hits.

The Lakers drafted Max Krautkremer, Johnny Krocak and Derek Christenson all from Montgomery.

Union Hill drafted Ben Anderson of Montgomery, Gavin Bergman and Matt Zweber from New Prague.

Veseli picked up James Fuerniss of New Prague, Jack Barnett from Montgomery and Alex Donkers of St. Benedict.

Faribault enters the State Tournament with a 23-11 record.

Faribault Lakers 2023 State Tournament Shirts. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Faribault Lakers 2023 State Tournament Shirts. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Jake Petricka is 9-0 with 2 saves.  116 strikeouts, 37 looking with 12 walks, 6 earned runs in 77 innings pitched and one hit batter.  Petricka will enter the tournament with a .701 ERA and an opponent batting average of .149.

Union Hill is 14-11 if the schedule on their website is accurate.

In Section 1B games Sunday:

  • Miesville 9 Elko 6 in Miesville
  • Northfield 5  Rochester 0  in Rochester
  • Dundas 3  New Market 2 in New Market

St. Patrick is top seed from Section 1B followed by Miesville #2, Dundas #3 and Northfield #4.

There will be a new Class B State Champion because Northfield ended the Royals season with their victory today.

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