The Hutchinson Huskies are in the Class C Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament Championship game after hitting 4 home runs Sunday.  The Huskies defeated the Waterville Indians 3-0 and ended the New Market Muskies season 7-5.

Hutchinson draftee pitcher Judson McKown of Maple Plain had a no-hitter going into the 8th inning of the game with Waterville.  McKown was very good at keeping the Indians off balance.  The knuckleballer threw more as the game went on and said after the game he probably only threw a dozen fastballs as hard as he could.

From where I was sitting in Maple Lake you could not tell he was throwing a knuckleball.  McKown threw 94 pitches over the 9 innings, 64 strikes with 3 strikeouts, 2 walks.  He allowed 3 hits over the last two innings.

Waterville ended their season 33-3.  The Indians lost their season opener to Northfield (a Class B team) then reeled off 30 straight wins before falling to Jordan in the Region 6 title game 4-3.  In the State Tournament they defeated St. Benedict 3-2 with a walkoff home run by Riley Schultz to open action in Delano.

Their second win was 1-0 over Bluffton before another walkoff 3-2 victory over Fairmonth Friday night.

Dalton Grose started the game for Waterville and went 5 1/3 innings with 65 pitches, 52 strikes.  When he left the game it was 2-0 Hutchinson.  The Huskies scored an unearned run in the 3rd inning and cleanup hitter Evan Kohli hit a 0-1 pitch over the fence in the 4th inning.

Bladyn Bartelt came on in relief in the 6th and inherited a jam.  Runners at 1st and 3rd with one out.  Bartelt threw one pitch resulting in a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the jam.

Bartelt gave up his second hit of the tournament to lead off the 8th inning.  That person was bunted over to second base.  Bartelt then struck out Kohli.  With two outs and a runner at second base the Indians decided to bring in Luke Sellner.  The first pitch Sellner threw to Marcus Hahn was smacked for a RBI double adding a run that was not needed.

It looked like the Waterville magic was going to happen again when Dalton Grose got the first hit for the Indians off McKown to lead the 8th inning.  A double play quickly quieted Waterville in that inning.

In the bottom of the 9th back to back singles with one out gave the Waterville faithful hope another walkoff could occur.  However the final two batters flew out and grounded out to end the Indians season.  Shane Sellner and Ben Boran had the 9th inning singles.

Bartelt finished 2 2/3 innings with 28 pitches thrown, 19 strikes, 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 hit allowed of 8 batters faced.  Sellner went 1 1/3 innings with a strikeout, 2 hits, no walks.

Hutchinson then faced a New Market team coming off a 1-0 win over Red Wing in Delano.  Keith Meyers of Cannon Falls threw a terrific game for Red Wing scattering 5 hits, fanning 5, walking 2.

Tonny Vocca was lights out for New Market with 8 strikeouts, 1 walk, 8 hits for the shutout victory.

New Market looked like they might be a team of destiny in the first inning when two infield singles were hit sandwiched around a couple outs.  Starting pitcher and Faribault native Nate Rost clubbed a 1-2 pitch for a 2 run single to give the Muskies the early lead.

Nate Rost Delivers Pitch to Hutchinson. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

Hutchinson got runners on first and second base with one out before Rost got Kohli to bounce into an inning ending double play.

In the second inning New Market added another run.  Kyle Bergstrom had a infield single to start the inning.  Following a lineout to right field Bergstrom went to second base on a wild pitch.  #9 hitter Brett Herber clubbed a single placing runners at the corners with one out.  Daniel Phyle worked the count full before hitting a RBI single on the 7th pitch of the at bat.  Phyle stole second but was stranded there along with Herber at third base.

It would be a precursor of things to come.

In the bottom of the second inning Hahn hit a solo home run off Rost, the first pitch he saw.  Rost left after three innings with 59 pitches thrown, 36 strikes, no strikeouts, 2 walks, a hit batsman, 4 hits allowed, 1 earned run.

Muskies draftee Matt Lane from the Faribault Lakers came on in the 4th inning and got the first 1-2-3 inning of the game with two strikeouts.  Lane pitched 5 shutout innings and got the win for New Market in Friday night's 16-0 seven inning win over New London-Spicer.

In the top of the fifth inning New Market added another run when the inning opened with an error getting Andy Henkemeyer on base.  He was wild pitched to second base by Hutchinson starter Kohli.  After a strike out and fly out Kyle Bergstrom connected for a RBI single making the score 4-1.

Lane faced the top of the order in the bottom of the 5th inning.  Lead batter Jayden Fleck hit a 1-1 pitch for a double off the fence in right field.  The next man got him to third with a bunt.  #3 hitter Jake Wendland had an infield single scoring Fleck.  Kohli then crunched a 1-2 pitch over the fence and the game was tied just like that.

In the top of the 6th inning Phyle started with a single on a 0-2 pitch, Lyden hit a 2-2 pitch for a single to start the inning placing runners at the corners.  Hutchinson brought in draftee pitcher Hunter Hart from Delano.  Tony Vocca popped out to the third baseman.  During the Henkemeyer at bat Hart was called for a balk scoring a run and placing Lyden in scoring position at second base.

In the bottom of the 6th inning Lane got the bottom of the order to go up and down in order again with a strikeout.

The top of the 7th inning New Market got the leadoff man on base for the 6th time in the game but didn't score.

Nick Rost Played Third Base for New Market. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

In the bottom of the 7th the top of the order was up again facing Lane.  Fleck worked the count to 3-1 before collecting a single.  Matt Piechowski got the bunt down to get Fleck into scoring position.  Lane got a strike out for the second out.  The Muskies decided to intentionally pass Kohli who hit the two run homer in the 5th inning.

I remember saying to the gentleman sitting next to me that it was interesting seeing the tying run intentionally put on base especially in light of the fact the man up next hit a home run earlier in the game also.

Sure enough Hahn was ready for a fastball and hit a line drive over the left field fence for a three run shot and his second home run of the game.  It was 7-5 Hutchinson.

The Muskies went up and down in order in the 8th.  Nate Rost led the 9th inning with a single and Tyler Bergstrom was walked.  With nobody out the go ahead run was coming to the plate.  After the balk Hart did not allow a run and only gave up 2 of the Muskies 15 hits in the game.

New Market left 13 guys on base, 10 in scoring position.  Hutchinson fnished with 12 hits, 8 runners left, 4 in scoring position.

Lane pitched 5 innings two days after pitching 5 innings.  He threw 89 pitches, 63 strikes, 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, 8 hits allowed.

In the final game of the day in Class C Jordan defeated Buckman 4-3 to set up the title game at Noon Monday between the Hutchinson Huskies and Jordan Brewers in Delano.

In Class B the Dundas Dukes were 5-4 victors over Blaine to advance to the title game from the winner's bracket.  Defending State Champion Chanhassen beat Moorhead in 14 innings 2-1 Saturday night.  The Red Birds then defeated Blaine 9-0 to advance to the title contest Monday.

Chanhassen won twice last year to claim the title and would have to do that again.  Two years ago Miesville defeated Chanhassen twice to claim the title.  The Red Birds returned the favor last year and will face another Cannon Valley Classlic League team this season.

The Class B title game is in Maple Lake.  First game 1:30 p.m.  If Dundas wins they are champs if they don't win a second game would be played approximately a half hour after the first ends.