New Prague and East Ridge in Class 4A Baseball Title Game
Break out the glass slipper. The #5 seed East Ridge Raptors and unseeded New Prague Trojans will play for the MSHSL Class 4A State Baseball Championship Thursday at Target Field in Minneapolis. East Ridge (20-6) knocked off top seed, defending State Champion Stillwater 6-5 in 8 innings while unseeded New Prague (18-8) outscored unseeded Rogers 12-7 to advance to the title game.
The Class 4A semifinal games were played Saturday at CHS Field in St. Paul. In other action Stillwater (24-2) took home the Third Place trophy and individual medals with a 4-3 win over Rogers (12-15). Mounds View (20-7) was the #4 seed by the coaches at the tournament and won the Consolation Championship 9-2 over #3 seed Hopkins (18-6).
The Raptors of East Ridge won with just 4 hits in their game with the Ponies of Stillwater. The game began with a pair of walks. East Ridge executed a sacrifice to advance the runners. There was a hit and a total of 3 wild pitches in the inning as the Raptors took a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning the Ponies took the lead with 3 runs scored on 3 hits. A couple wild pitches also factored in that inning.
East Ridge added a run in the fifth inning on a failed pick off attempt and a run in the sixth inning on another Stillwater error.
The Ponies tied the game in the bottom of the 7th on an unearned run. The Raptors scored two runs in the top of the 8th thanks in part to a pair of errors. Stillwater did score a run in the bottom of the inning.
Stillwater starting pitcher Will Frisch threw 6 innings, struck out 11 batters, walked 3, hit 4 batters, allowed 2 hits 4 runs, 3 earned while tossing 112 pitches. Matt Moore took the loss going the last two innings with 2 hits, 2 unearned runs, 1 strikeouts and 46 pitches.
East Ridge starter Blake Ritzer went the first 4 innings, struck out 3, walked 4, hit 1 batter, allowed 5 hits and 3 runs while throwing 98 pitches. Sam Szymanski got the victory while throwing 3 innings with 1 strikeout, 1 hit batsman, 1 unearned run in the midst of 37 pitches. Cam Hunter got the save while throwing the final inning with 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk and 28 pitches.
East Ridge is coached by former St. Olaf and Lake City star Brian Sprout who played on some state title teams with the Dundas Dukes.
New Prague scored 9 runs in the final 3 innings against Rogers to advance to the title contest in the first State Baseball Tournament appearance in 39 years. The game was a hit fest with the Trojans picking up 13 and the Royals 11 hits. Rogers erupted for 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning to make it 8-7 going into the final frame.
New Prague scored 4 runs in the top of the 7th to finish the scoring in the game.
Trojans lead hitter Collin Dorzinski had 3 hits, 3 RBI. Cade Pavek 2 hits, 3 RBI and Joe Weirs went 4 for 4. Jack Kreutzian took the mound goint 5 and 1/3 innings, allowed 9 hits, 6 earned runs, walked 3, struck out 4, hit 2 batters while throwing 93 pitches. Will Busch earned a save going 1 and 2/3 innings with 2 hits, 1 run, 3 strikeouts and 33 pitches.
Line totals were:
New Prague 12 runs 13 hits 1 error 5 left on base
Rogers 7 runs 11 hits 2 errors 7 left on base
The MSHSL Class 4A Championship game will be played Thursday, June 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Target Field in Minneapolis.