Lakeville North Wins Third Place Game at State
The Lakeville North Panthers defeated the Woodbury Royals in walk-off fashion Saturday to capture the individual medals and third place trophy at the Class 4A State Baseball Tournament in St. Paul.
Earlier in the day the #4 seed Panthers were throttled by the unseeded Eden Prairie Eagles in the semifinals and Forest Lake beat Woodbury 9-1.
Eden Prairie senior pitcher Turben Urdahl tossed a one hitter against a good hitting Lakeville North team.
Urdahl will be playing baseball next season at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.
Panther senior Michael Dooney had the lone hit when he led off the bottom of the first with a double and ended the inning standing at second base.
Eden Prairie cranked out 12 hits in the game and scored multiple runs in all but one inning in the 14-0 five inning game.
I asked one of the Panther coaches after the game if he thought it would be easier coming back from the hammering then a close game and he believed a close game would be harder to rebound from.
The Woodbury contest started with the Royals scoring two runs in the top of the third inning to take a lead thanks to a two run moon shot homer by Ronald Sweeney III over the right field wall at CHS Field in St. Paul.
His homer came on a 2-0 count and came after the batter in front of him was hit by a pitch on a 2-2 count.
Lakeville North started sophomore Ryan Sleeper and he had a no decision after throwing the first five innings.
Sleeper tallied 82 pitches, 44 for strikes, struck out two, walked three and hit a batter.
Junior Nathaniel Peterson got the win with two shutout innings to end the game,
Peterson threw 28 pitches, 16 for strikes, struck out two and walked a batter while not allowing a hit.
The Panthers scored two runs in the fourth when the inning started with a single by sophmore shortshop Gavin Baker.
Senior catcher Nick Juaire was walked.
After a fly out senior second baseman Ryan Bastyr clubbed an RBI single and then senior third baseman Ryler Fietek hit into a fielder’s choice collecting an RBI.
In the fifth inning Collin Denk led off the inning with a single and was wild pitched to second base. Brandon Keeley singled and Denk went to third.
With runners at the corners and nobody out Keeley took off from first and was thrown out in a rundown. Dooney was hit by a pitch, Baker singled and the Panthers were in business.
Juaire hit a blooper to right field that the outfielder dove for and did not catch, Dooney was left in no man’s land and was thrown out at third base but Denk scored the tying run. Juaire was credited with a fielder’s choice RBI and not a base hit by the official scorer.
Dooney started the seventh inning getting hit by the first pitch thrown by senior Brodie Paulson.
Paulson had come in the game in place of sophomore Woodbury starter Adam Mazur.
Mazure went the first four innings and threw 45 pitches, 26 for strikes, had no strikeouts and one walk.
Paulson was saddled with the loss due to giving up the tying run in the fifth and winning run for Lakeville North in the seventh inning.
After Dooney’s hit by pitch, Baker singled and Nick Juaire was walked.
Then Nick Spitt, who threw a masterpiece in the opening game of the tournament Thursday collected the game winning hit and Dooney scored the fourth one.
An exciting finish to the Lakeville North season. The Panthers were 21-6 and Co-Champions of the South Suburban Conference as well as third place finishers at State.
Woodbury finished their season 17-10.