BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
The St. Paul Saints professional minor league baseball team may have defeated the amateur North Star League All-Stars 18-1 Saturday in Delano, but the big winner was the local state tournament committee.
Delano will be a site for Class C state tournament and received help from the Saints to help raise funds. The exhibition game attracted more than 1,300 where the hope was for 1,000.
Managing the All-Stars was Steve Eilen from Delano along with Billy Porter from Albertville. Delano was represented by Joey Althoff, Kevin Jaunich, Andy Brown and Jeff Althoff. Loretto had Kent Koch, Tyler Maher, Brandon Scanlon and Adam McGrane and Jason Lesser represented Rockford.
“The game was a treat for everyone involved, even though we got beat pretty bad,” said Eilen. “It was a great experience to play a professional team that is equivalent to class AA minor league baseball. Their starting pitcher was Mark Hamburger who, was initially signed by the Twins, but was traded to the Texas Rangers.”
Hamburger allowed just one hit over six innings. Craig Brazell, who spent the last five years in the Japanese professional league, won the pre-game home run derby.
Loretto defeated Rockford 19-2 Sunday. Ryan Schaust batted 4 for 4 while Herb Koch Jr. and Brandon Scanlon both had three hits. Nick Koch pitched, allowing six hits. Troy Beckman allowed one hit in two innings.
Rockford was led by Ryan Rassatt who went 3 for 4 and Ben Fontana was 2 for 3.
Loretto won the home opener 8-7 over Albertville. Five pitchers got the change to loosen arms. With the game tied 7-7 in the last of the ninth, Eric Schutte ended the game with a single.
Delano opens the season 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17 at home against DC. Rockford takes on Howard Lake at Loretto 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18. On Sunday, May 19 Rockford faces Mound in Loretto at 5 p.m. following the 2 p.m. game between Cokato and Loretto. Delano travels to play Hutchinson at 2 p.m.
On Wednesday, Buffalo is at Delano and DC is at Loretto for 7:30 p.m. games.