By Charlie Warner
Saving their best for the play-off run, the Caledonia/Spring Grove baseball team has continued to be the giant killer in Section 1AA baseball play.
As of Monday, when this issue of The Argus went to press, the Warriors were still alive in the Section 1AA Championships. The once-beaten Warriors faced Stewartville in the losers’ bracket June 5 at 5 p.m. at Riverland Community College in Austin. The winner will advance to the final round to face undefeated Cannon Falls in the double-elimination tournament.
The Warriors reeled off three straight wins over St. Charles (3-0), PEM (13-3) and La Crescent (8-6) to win the sub-section title, before losing to Cannon Falls (19-4).
Whomever won the consolation game between the Warriors and Stewartville will then have to defeat Cannon Falls twice for a trip to state.
Warriors 3, Saints 0
The Warriors hosted St. Charles in the opening round of sub-section play on May 29 and ended the Saints’ season with a 3-0 win.
The Warriors scored once in the bottom of the fourth and twice more in the fifth for the 3-0 win.
Ryan Frank was on the hill for the Warriors and pitched seven inning of shutout ball. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out seven.
The Warriors managed just three hits in the low-scoring affair. Ryan Eppen was 1 for 2 with an RBI, Matt Petersen was 1 for 3 with a run scored, Ryan Frank was 1 for 3 and Austin Goergen was 0 for 2 with an RBI.
Warriors 13, PEM 3
The Warrior bats came to life in the game several days later when C/SG pounded the PEM Bulldogs 13-3.
Goergen and Houston Halverson both had home runs, Travis Frank had a pair of doubles and Petersen, Josh Lampert, Brett Colsch and Halverson all had doubles.
The Warriors broke the game open in the first two innings when they scored three in the top of the first and four more in the top of the second.
The Bulldogs made it a game by scoring three in the bottom of the second to pull within 7-3. But the Warriors scored four more in the fourth and two more in the fifth for a 13-3 lead. The game was called due to the 10-run rule after the fifth inning.
Goergen led the 13-hit Warrior attack, going 3 for 3 with a home run, five RBI and one run scored. Halverson was 2 for 2 with a home run, a double, two walks, four RBI and four runs scored. Travis Frank was 3 for 4 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored. Lampert was 2 for 2 with a double and four runs scored. Petersen was 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored. Colsch had a double in three trips to the plate and two RBI. Ryan Frank was 1 for 3 with a run scored.
Petersen threw five innings and gave up three earned runs on five Bulldog hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Warriors 8, Lancers 6
The Warriors defeated perennial Section 1AA champion La Crescent for the sub-section title last Saturday by an 8-6 score.
“Words cannot express how proud I am to coach this group of guys,” Warrior Coach Dave Konz said. “Down 6-1 they never wavered and kept battling back. They got what they deserved and that was the sub section championship.”
The Lancers jumped ahead 4-0 in the bottom of the second, but the Warriors got one back in the top of the third.
La Crescent made it 6-1 when they scored two more in the fourth. The Warriors responded with a six-run top of the fifth to take a 7-6 lead and then added an insurance run in the sixth for the 8-6 win.
Eppen had the big blast for the Warriors with a home run with a man on base. Colsch was 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored. Ryan Frank was 2 for 3, Petersen was 1 for 3 with a run scored and Travis Frank was 1 for 4 with a double.
Cannon Falls 19, Warriors 4
The win propelled the Warriors into the Section 1AA Championship Round, where they met a very good Cannon Falls team.
“We came into the game emotionally spent from the La Crescent game and ran into a hot team,” Konz noted. “They just hit the ball hard into the gaps. You really have to give Cannon Falls credit for their offensive performance.”
Cannon Falls scored seven in the first, three in the second and nine in the bottom of the fourth in the 10-run-rule shortened game.
The Warriors managed one run in the first, two in the second and one in the third.
Halverson led the Warriors with two hits in three trips to the plate, including a double. He scored a run and had an RBI. Petersen was 1 for 3, Lampert was 1 for 3 with a run scored, Goergen was 1 for 3, Eppen was 1 for 2 with an RBI and a run scored and Colsch was 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Warriors used three pitchers in the game.
You can contact Charlie Warner at [email protected]