The East Ridge Raptors scored a walk-off 3-2 win over the Mounds View Mustangs today to repeat as MSHSL Class 4A baseball champions.

The Mustangs outhit the Raptors 4-3 but it's the runs that count.

Caden Stern, Senior, scored the winning run on a wild pitch after stealing second base and advancing to third on a passed ball.  Stern was brought in to courtesy run for catcher Benjamin Rudser, Senior, who walked to start the inning.

East Ridge won the title with excellent pitching and maximized their base runners. Their other two runs scored on sacrifice flies with stolen bases in the mix.

Mounds View took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Hayden Sperbeck, Senior, and Tyler Guerin, Senior, smacked back-to-back singles.  Charlie Kelly, Senior, courtesy ran for pitcher Guerin.  Jack Glancey, Sophomore, put down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third base.  An error off a ball hit by Isaac Beseman, Junior, allowed two runs to score.

In the bottom of the first inning with one out Jack Blink, Senior, singled, Alexander Mezzetti, Senior, singled,  Will Preimesberger, Senior, walked, and Luke Ryerse, Junior, achieved a sacrifice fly for an RBI.

The Raptors scored in the 6th inning to tie the game when Preimesberger opened the inning with a walk.  Adin Thompson, Sophomore, came in to run for Preimesberger, stole second base, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a Bennett Skinner, Sophomore, sacrifice fly.

The Mustangs Jack Glancey, Sophomore, opened the top of the 7th inning with a double.  With two outs, Chris Then, Senior, singled placing runners at the corners, but a fly out ended the threat.

Maxwell Arlich, Senior, went the distance on the hill for the state champs, scattering 4 hits, the two runs were unearned, struck out 5 batters with no walks and threw 73 pitches.

Tyler Guerin, Senior, started on the mound for the Mustangs going 5 innings with 1 run allowed, 3 hits, 3 strikeouts, 4 walks, while throwing 80 pitches to 21 batters.

Andrew Gette, Sophomore, came in the bottom of the 6th inning to pitch and suffered the loss with no hits allowed, 2 unearned runs, 1 strikeout, 2 walks, 1 wild pitch while throwing 23 pitches to 5 batters,

East Ridge was #3 seed in tournament, ranked #6 in final MHSBCA  Class 4A poll.  Mounds View was #5 seed, 10th ranked.

The Mustangs galloped by #4 seed Minnetonka 11-1 in six innings on Thursday at CHS Field in St. Paul, then edged top seed and top rated Wayzata 5-4 in 8 innings to advance to the title tilt.

East Ridge cruised by Eastview Lightning 7-1 in their opener and dominated Forest Lake 10-1 in the semifinals.  The Lightning and Rangers were not ranked.

Wayzata won third place game 3-0 over Forest Lake.

Minnetonka took home the Consolation Championship trophy with a 13-3 six inning win over Eastview of Apple Valley.

The Raptors finished their season 21-6.  Mustangs are 20-9.

Farmington was the #2 seed rated #4, Wayzata had been the only remaining undefeated baseball team in Minnesota prior to their semifinals loss to Mounds View.

The Raptors are coached by Lake City native, St. Olaf College graduate, Brian Sprout who was All-MIAC in baseball and football.  Sprout just completed his 15th season as East Ridge baseball head coach.

The Raptors have been to state three times and won the title each trip.

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Gallery Credit: Amber Spencer-Knowles


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