The Faribault Lakers scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning today to defeat the Saints of St. Benedict 13-11 in a see-saw battle in Scott County.  The game was rained out Saturday.

With the win the Lakers are a game away from reaching the State Tournament which they co-host this year with Dundas and Miesville.

Faribault plays at top seed St. Patrick Monday, August 7, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. with the winner qualifying for the State Tournament.

In other Region 3C playoff games Sunday Montgomery edged Union Hill 4-3 in a walk off Winner's Bracket game to clinch a trip to State. Webster ended New Prague's season by winning 9-3 in the Orioles ballpark .

St. Benedict goes to Veseli Monday at 8:00 p.m.  Webster waits to see who loses in the Faribault at St. Patrick game.  Union Hill will play winner of the Veseli contest on Wednesday.

Fans from both Faribault and St. Benedict teams were kept on the edge of their seats.

Joe Grote started for the Lakers on the hill and Eli Erickson toed the rubber for St. Benedict

The Lakers made the first splash in the top of the first inning when Joe Grote connected for a two out, two run home run plating Danny Pierce who singled earlier.

The Saints answered with a run in the bottom of the inning.  Jeremy Heitkamp hit a 1-2 count pitch for a single to start the inning and advanced to third base on a 2-1 count double by Mitchell Martin.

Following a strikeout Nolan Eischens hit a fly ball deep enough to score Heitkamp.  Grote then ended the threat with another strikeout.

In the bottom of the second inning St. Benedict sent 10 men to the plate and scored 5 runs.

The inning started with a error.  Matthew Monson hit a 0-2 count single.  Nick Heitkamp hit a single to center scoring a run but the ball got by the outfielder allowing Heitkamp to gain second base and another run to score.

Number nine batter in the order Jonathon Huss was hit by a pitch.  Jeremy Heitkamp hit a 2-2 count pitch that Nate Rost knocked down and threw to second base for the force out there.  A run did score on the play.

Martin hit a 3-1 count RBI single.  Michael Pauly clubbed the first pitch he saw for a single. Eischens then collected a RBI single with Martin scoring on a error on the throw to home plate.  Pauly gained third base.  Patrick Huisman was walked to load the bases before Grote snared a line drive and threw to second for a inning ending double play.

It was 6-2 Saints after 2 innings.

Faribault answered in the top of the third inning when St. Benedict pitcher Eli Erickson appeared to lose some of his control probably from the long wait in the previous inning.

Erickson walked #9 batter Dylan Valentyn to start the inning.  Following a ground out and a line out Matt Lane reached across the plate with a 1-2 count pitch to poke it into left field.

Grote then hammered a RBI double before Nate Rost collected a 2 run single to get Faribault within a run.  8 Lakers went to the plate.

The Lakers loaded the bases with two outs in the 4th inning and Grote coming to the plate.  The Saints brought Cole Minnick in to pitch and he ended the threat with a strikeout.

Grote threw 47 pitches in the first two innings, 30 strikes with 7 hits allowed and 6 runs only one earned.  He would retire the next 8 batters he faced before a two out single by Derek Albers in the 5th inning.

Faribault erupted for 5 runs in the top of the 6th inning.  Following a strikeout to start the inning Danny Pierce hit his third single in 4 trips to the plate,  I ruled a single on the play and Pierce went to second base on a throwing error.

Matt Lane then hit a single putting runners at the corners for Joe Grote who hit his second RBI double of the game.  Lane went to third base.  Nate Rost was awarded a intentional walk to load the bases.

Hunter Nelson hit a ground ball that plated a run and beat the relay after Nate Rost was thrown out at second base.

Ryan Archambault then hit a 0-2 count pitch to center for a three run homer to make the score Faribault 10  St. Benedict 6.

In the bottom of the 6th the Saints sent 9 men to the plate while scoring 4 runs on 4 hits all with two outs.

After the two outs Grote hit Jeremy Heitkamp with a 2-2 count pitch.  Mitchell Martin hit a routine ground ball to third base that was fielded cleanly but the throw was over the head of the first baseman.

Pauly jumped on the first pitch he saw for a RBI single.  Eischens jumped on the first pitch for a 2 run double.  Patrick Huisman connected for a RBI single.  Grote got his fifth strikeout of the game to end the inning with the game tied at 10.

Faribault went ahead in the top of the 7th inning.  Matthew Morenson was brought in the game to pitch and was greeted by a 1-1 count double off the bat of Blake Langerud.  He would gain third base on a wild pitch.

Pierce hit a 1-2 count pitch for a RBI single.  He would advance to second on a wild pitch before Lane was walked on four pitches.  A Grote fly ball to right field advanced Pierce to third base but a strikeout looking ended the threat.

Faribault 11 St. Benedict 10.

The Saints would tie the game in the bottom of the 8th inning. With one out Pauly hit a full count pitch for a single to right field.  During a strikeout of Eischens Pauly stole second base.  Huisman cracked a 2-2 count pitch for a RBI single before a ground out ended the inning on Grote's 151st pitch of the game.

In the top of the 9th inning with one out Langerud walked, Pierce was hit by a pitch.  Lane hit a single to load the bases.  Grote connected for his 4th hit of the game producing his 5th RBI.

Nate Rost hit fly ball to the outfield to score Pierce giving Faribault a 13-11 lead.

Grote appeared to want to go back out for the ninth inning but Danny Bomsta was brought in to retire the bottom of the lineup in order with a strikeout for the save.  Grote gets the win.

Morenson takes the tough luck loss.

Grote pitches 8 innings with 14 hits allowed, 11 runs, 6 earned.  Seven strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hit batters.  105 of his 153 pitches were strikes.  Faribault scorebook had 145 pitches, 99 strikes.  I double counted mine not that it matters it's still a lot of pitches.

Bomsta throws 11 pitches, 10 strikes.

The Lakers left 11 runners on base, 6 in scoring position while connecting for 16 hits in my book.  The Saints stranded 7 runners, 3 in scoring position.

Lakers and Saints Shake Hands After Game. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Lakers and Saints Shake Hands After Game. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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