Waterville Wins on Walk Off Homer by Riley Schultz
Faribault High School graduate Riley Schultz hit a two run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Waterville Indians a 3-2 victory today over St. Benedict. It was an opening round game in the Class C Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament.
The Indians used three pitchers in the game against the Saints with Bladyn Bartelt getting the victory after throwing a scoreless top of the 9th inning. Dalton Grose started the game and Luke Sellner gave his team 6 strong innings of relief.
Sellner inherited a bases loaded nobody out situation in the third inning and got out of the mess with just one run allowed. He walked the first batter he faced to give St. Benedict a 1-0 lead at the time but coaxed a 1-2-3 double play and a pop out to get out of the jam.
Waterville tied the game in the bottom of the 4th inning when Nolan Grose turned on a Tanner Oakes fastball on a 1-1 count and hit a no doubt home run to right field.
St. Benedict scored their go ahead run in the top of the 8th on a controversial call at home plate. Cleanup hitter Andrew Huss singled to start the inning and was sacrificed to second base by an excellent bunt off the bat of Carter Hodapp. Huss then was awarded third base due to a balk.
With one out and a runner at third the infield was drawn in. A ball was hit by Nick Heitkamp that stayed on the infield and Huss immediately broke for home. The throw clearly beat him to the plate. It appeared from where I was sitting in elevated deck seating along the third base line that Indians catcher Shane Sellner recorded the out but the umpire ruled him safe saying he was never tagged.
Sellner couldn't believe it. His teammates couldn't believe it. The Waterville fans couldn't believe it. Even some St. Benedict fans around me couldn't believe the call but it was 2-1 Saints with the benefit at that point of just two hits.
St. Benedict draftee Nathan Sprouls of New Prague warmed up a couple times in the game but was never brought into the contest. It appeared he might be called upon following a full count bat shattering single by Luke Sellner to start the bottom of the ninth against Trey Kocher.
Tanner Oakes started the game and threw the first 5 innings. Oakes threw 65 pitches, 44 for strikes with 3 strikeouts, no walks, 4 hits allowed along with 1 earned run.
Going into the final inning Kocher had allowed just one hit, but it was the second time Waterville hitters were seeing him in the game.
Schultz showed bunt a couple of times and frankly that's what I was thinking he would do to get that tying run in scoring position.
With the count 1-1 Schultz crushed the ball over the center field fence sending his teammates and the Indians fans into jubilation for their trip home.
Waterville will play Saturday, August 24 at 4:30 p.m. in Maple Lake against Region 14 Champion Bluffton.
The Bluffton Braves play in the Hi-10 League with Midway, Wadena-Deer Creek, New York Mills and Perham to name a few of the teams.
Other Class C area teams: Region 5 representative Lake City defeated Fort Ripley today 7-5 in Delano. The Serpents play Saturday, 1:30 p.m. against Fairmont in Maple Lake.
Region 3 Champion New Market will play Sunday in Maple Lake against Luverne who defeated Carver 4-3. Faribault Lakers pitcher Matt Lane was drafted by New Market.
Region 5 Champion Red Wing tangles with Avon Sunday, August 25 at 11:00 a.m. in Maple Lake. Avon defeated Lake Henry 3-1.
Region 6 Champion Jordan faces Bird Island, 1-0 victors over Dumont. The game is 7:00 p.m. Saturday in Delano.
In Class B the Elite 8 have been determined and the double-elimination begins next weekend.
Northfield plays defending Champion Chanhassen at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Dassel.
Blaine goes up against Moorhead Brewers 11:00 a.m. Saturday in Dassel.
Miesville faces Chaska 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Dassel.
Dundas plays Victoria at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Dassel.