Totino Grace dashes Crimson’s bid to return to state baseball Totino Grace beat defending section champion Maple Grove 6-5 in the Section 5 final June 6 at Midway Stadium.
The Crimson lost to the Eagles earlier in the tournament and needed to win twice to earn a repeat trip to state. They battled hard, but could not overcome a rash of errors and saw their season cut short.
"Winning a championship requires playing at a high level and we didn’t play our best down the stretch," said Maple Grove coach Darby Carlson. "Totino Grace took advantage of six walks, three wild pitches, and three errors, and that charity was too much for us to overcome."
Totino Grace took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a single from Matthew Stroh, a wild pitch and a single by Ben Peterson.
In the top of the fourth, the Crimson offense pushed three runs across on a single by Shay Torgerson, two walks, and a two-run single by Isaac Collins. Jack Kuebelbeck plated the final run of the inning on a well-executed suicide squeeze bunt.
The Crimson momentum dampened as the skies opened up, resulting in an hour and a half rain delay. When play resumed, Totino Grace put up four runs in the fourth. The Eagles scored on two walks, an RBI single, a sacrifice fly, and a two-run error.
The Crimson rallied in the top of the fifth and knotted the game 5-5 on a leadoff walk, an RBI double by Roman Collins, and a fielder’s choice.
In the top of the sixth, Maple Grove failed to capitalize on back-to-back walks, leaving runners stranded at first and second.
The game’s last lead went to Totino Grace, thanks to a sixth-inning rally that saw one run cross the plate on a leadoff walk and an RBI single.
Maple Grove earned a trip to the final with a 3-1 victory over Cooper June 4.
Cooper out hit Maple Grove five to four, and stranded eight runners on base. The Hawks scored their only run of the game on an RBI single in the second inning.
The Crimson offense struggled to hit the ball off Cooper’s hard throwing left-hander but they managed to score all their runs in the fifth inning. Down one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, Isaac Collins sparked a dampened Crimson offense with a one-out single. Representing the tying run Collins advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kuebelbeck. Logan Hershey walked, and Joe Franta came up big plating Collins with a two-out single to left. A two-run error by the Hawks second baseman followed and the Crimson never surrendered the 3-1 lead.
Erick Kivi was a workhorse on the mound while bagging the win for Maple Grove. Kivi pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run, four hits, and one walk while striking out three. Roman Collins picked up the save closing out the final inning and 2/3’s allowing one hit while striking out one.
The Crimson finished the season with at record of 20-5, with four of those losses coming in one-run ball games.