Kenyon-Wanamingo Baseball Loses Heartbreaker
The Kenyon-Wanamingo Knights took on the No. 2 seed in the Section 2 Class 2A baseball tournament and gave them all they could handle Thursday night.
The St. Peter Saints scored a 1-0 walk-off victory over the No. 6 seed Knights in a well-pitched game for both teams. Saints sophomore Andy Regner was an impressive hard-throwing right-handed hurler and allowed just one hit in the game.
Kenyon-Wanamingo senior Matt Houglum also threw well enough to win, scattering four hits in the 1-0 loss. Houglum earned the Sviggum Insurance Agency Knight of the game for his efforts.
The Knights' only hit came off the bat of senior Gavin Roosen in the top of the seventh inning to lead off the inning.
Classmate Carter Leninger bunted Roosen to second and a balk got him to third with just one out, but Regner buckled down to get strikeouts of the No. 4 and No. 5 hitters and left Roosen standing there.
Kenyon-Wanamingo's only other base runner was Dylan Craig to start the first inning. He got on base due to an error and the Saints tried to pick him off repeatedly and eventually threw the ball away to get him to second on another error. That's where he stood when the inning closed after a couple of fly outs and a strike out.
The only negative in the game was the number of strikeouts the Knights had looking. Regner fanned nine Kenyon-Wanamingo batters, and six of them were looking. At times he would drop down side arm and I think it was a bit tough for the hitters to pick up the ball.
St. Peter junior Owen Little clubbed a 1-1 count high fastball from Houglum to lead off the bottom of the seventh with a double to right center. The next batter, senior Parker Baron, laid down a perfect bunt and was safe at first for the bunt hit.
Houglum struck out the next batter and then the No. 9 hitter put down a bunt and Houglum fielded the ball and looked the runner back to third, giving the Saints the bases loaded with two outs.
The loaded bases set up the possible double play and also put a force at home but fittingly for St. Peter, their outstanding pitcher and lead off hitter Regner hit a grounder to sophomore third baseman Tyler Ryan and he came home to get the force out but a pinch runner slid safely for the walk off win.
The Knights are now in the elimination bracket and will play No. 12 seed Lake Crystal-Wellcome-Memorial at 1:30 Saturday afternoon in St. Peter. They cross bracket because of the 16 teams instead of having two eight-team subsections.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome-Memorial upended Blue Earth Area 7-6 to stay alive and has a 9-13 record.
The Knights are now 14-9 and if they win play again Tuesday at 5PM against the winner of the Le Sueur-Henderson vs. Medford game.
Medford beat Maple River 5-4 on the road Thursday and play the Giants at 4PM Saturday in St. Peter.