By Brad Augedahl
Special to the Caledonia Argus
The Caledonia Warriors 12U baseball team traveled to Owatonna July 26 through 28 to play in the 24-team Minnesota Sports Federation AA State Tourney. The 24 teams were split in eight groups of three teams each for pool play. The top two seeds from each pool advanced to the championship bracket.
The Farmington Tigers and the BOLD Rockhounds were the other teams in the Warriors’ pool.
Caledonia opened pool play against the Farmington Tigers on Friday night. The Tigers jumped to a quick 3-0 lead after two innings. The Warriors finally got on the board on RBI singles by Tate Meiners and Tyler Wiebke to pull within 3-2 in the third inning, and an Evan Denstad RBI single scored Noah King to knot the game at 3-3 in the fourth inning.
Farmington added three more runs and went on to defeat Caledonia 6-3. BOLD then defeated Farmington in the next game by an 8-6 score, setting up the next game with the Warriors.
Starting pitcher Tyler Wiebke made quick work of the first three innings against BOLD, holding them to one hit while striking out four. The Warriors came to bat in the top of the fifth with the score still at 0-0.
Cole Folsom drew a two out walk and later scored on an error by the shortstop for a 1-0 lead. The Warriors added two more runs in the sixth inning, and Kyle Cavanaugh pitched the last three innings allowing only one run while Caledonia hung on for a hard fought 3-1 win. The Warriors earned the #1 seed and advanced to the championship bracket as they won the tiebreaker of allowing the fewest runs in pool play as all the team finished with a 1-1 record.
Caledonia opened bracket play against Apple Valley. After a scoreless first inning the Warriors exploded with eight runs in the second inning with Andrew Goergen collecting two doubles and three RBI’s.
Cole Folsom tripled in a pair of runs, and Eric Augedahl also collected two RBI’s with a bases loaded single.
Tyler Wiebke pitched two shutout innings to start the game and relievers Augedahl, Meiners and Riley Gavin closed the door on Apple Valley as the warriors advanced with a 10-4 victory and a spot in the quarterfinals against Alexandria.
Caledonia opened the scoring in the bottom of the first against Alexandria when Cavanaugh drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on a Meiners double. The Warriors pushed the lead to 4-0 in the third inning on five consecutive hits by Folsom, Cavanaugh, Augedahl, Meiners and Goergen.
Cavanaugh took over pitching duties for Wiebke in the 4th inning and complete the 5-0 shutout with three scoreless innings to secure a semifinals appearance against Hutchinson.
The Caledonia bats again started hot against Hutchinson by plating four runs in the top of the first inning on RBI doubles by Goergen and Denstad.
Hutchinson answered quickly with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. The Warriors again took the lead in the third inning when Goergen led off with a single, followed by back to back doubles by Wiebke and Denstad.
King added an RBI single to push the lead to 8-4. A Cavanaugh double in the fourth increased the lead to 9-4. Hutchinson closed the gap to 9-7 in the bottom of the 6th inning, but Meiners struck out the Hutchinson cleanup hitter with the tying run at first base to propel the Warriors to the championship game against Chanhassen Gold.
The championship game started as a defensive battle. Both teams made great defensive plays and the pitchers dominated the first two innings when the score stayed 0-0.
After two quick outs in the top of the third Brent Robley worked a two out walk against the big Chanhassen lefthander, and Cole Folsom followed by driving the next pitch to the fence for an RBI double. It was the Warriors’ first lead at 1-0.
Meiners pitched his third consecutive scoreless inning and the Warriors hung on to a 1-0 lead after three complete innings. Chanhassen collected three consecutive hits to open up the bottom of the 4th and a 2-1 lead.
Now trailing for the first time in bracket play the Warriors answered immediately.
Riley Gavin opened up the fifth inning with a sharp single to left. King followed with a one out walk to put runners on first and second, and again Folsom came up with a big hit tying the game with an RBI single.
Cavanaugh then added a two out single to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead. Augedahl then lined a two RBI single to right for a 5-2 cushion. Still trailing 5-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning Chanhassen got runners on first and second bringing the tying run to the plate.
Tyler Wiebke got the next hitter to loft a lazy fly ball to centerfielder Augedahl to seal Chanhassen’s fate as they watched the Warrior players rush the mound to celebrate their state title.
The team would like to thank Miken Sports and Wiebke Fur for their support this season and to the Caledonia Haulers for sponsoring them in the state tourney. The team finished the season with an impressive 30-13 record.