By Rob LaPlante
Crow River News Sports
The Section 8AAA baseball playoffs kicked off Monday, May 27 at Alexandria with No. 9 seed St. Michael-Albertville ending No. 8 seed St. Cloud Tech’s season with an 8-3 win.
Senior pitcher Jacob Dzubay erased a rocky start in which he fell behind 3-0 on three first-inning Tiger runs. The Knights lefty settled into a groove as he finished the contest only allowing four hits to earn the complete-game victory.
Dzubay helped his own cause collecting and RBI single in the top of the fifth inning that tied the game at 3-3. He finished the game with three hits and sophomore Jordan Joseph added two singles and two RBI’s.
The victory assured the Knights a chance to advance in the double-elimination bracket. STMA jumped to an early 2-0 advantage against Alexandria on a 2-RBI single from junior Brandon Rankila.
Joseph was the starter against the top-seeded Cardinals and was throwing goose eggs until Alexandria’s Mitch Thompson cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Beau Backhaus pitched all seven innings for the Cardinals and Joseph pitched 6-2/3 innings but failed to get the final out as Alexandria’s Toby Helgeson drove in two runs with two outs to earn the 3-2 walk-off win.
STMA advances to the loser’s bracket and will play at No. 5 seed Bemidji on May 30 at 7:30 p.m. Winner advances to play the loser of the Moorhead at Rocori game on June 3 at the MAC in St. Cloud. Loser of the STMA-Bemidji game is done for the season.