Stillwater Claims State Title in Last Game of High School Season
The Stillwater Area Ponies galloped past the Minnetonka Skippers 4-0 in the final baseball game of the 2018 baseball season. With the game delayed by rain it seemed fitting considering the spring these athletes endured this year. Saturday's other state title games were delayed by multiple hours but today's contest started approximately 22 minutes late. Due to the delay the Ponies were able to throw their ace in two games in the tournament and it proved to be the difference.
Junior left handed pitcher Andrew Gilbert struck out 15 Skippers to lead the #2 seed Stillwater Area over the #1 seed Minnetonka at Target Field in Minneapolis. Gilbert fanned the first six batters faced and ended the game with a strikeout also. He allowed three hits and walked two batters while striking out the side three times. Gilbert picked up two wins in the tournament striking out 25 batters in 13 and 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs.
It was the second championship for the Ponies in eight state tournament appearances. The last came in 1991 when the Twins won the World Series so hopefully history repeats itself. Stillwater ended the season with a 20 game winning streak.
It was scoreless through the first three innings before Stillwater scored two runs in the fourth with two outs. Senior shortstop Matthew McGinley beat out a potential double play for an RBI fielder's choice grounder and drew a throw to first while on base that resulted in sophomore Jonathan Koehn scoring from third.
The other two runs were scored in the sixth inning on a pair of Minnetonka errors.
Skippers senior right handed pitcher Mason Nadolney allowed 3 hits and one earned run in the first five innings and threw 63 pitches. Gilbert threw 118 pitches.
Minnetonka had a runner in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings of the game. The game took one hour and fifty seven minutes
The Skippers finished their season 22-5 and the Ponies 24-3. Four errors were committed by Minnetonka while Stillwater Area played error free ball.