Maple Grove generated a blow-out win in the opening round of last week’s Section 5AAA baseball playoffs but it lost in the second round at the hands of Coon Rapids and ace pitcher Logan Shore.
Maple Grove beat Cooper 15-2 in five innings Thursday, May 23, after an eight-run explosion in the third inning highlighted by a Tyler Field two-run homer.
Joe Franta and Field each racked up four RBIs on two hits apiece. Adam Brant finished the game going 3 for 3 with a triple and two runs scored.
Cooper had no answer for Crimson starter Erick Kivi, who kept runners off the base paths. The Hawks managed just one hit off of Kivi, who allowed one earned run, walked four and struck out seven during his five innings of work.
Shore and the second-ranked Cardinals shut out Maple Grove 5-0 in the second round game Friday, May 24.
The division one recruit slammed the door on the Maple Grove offense allowing just one hit, while walking one and striking out nine. With Coon Rapids leading 1-0, the Crimson threatened to get back into the game in the top of the fourth.
They got a leadoff walk from Isaac Collins and a bunt single by Jack Kuebelbeck. Joe Franta sacrificed both runners into scoring position, but a failed suicide squeeze attempt and a fly ball out ended the only scoring opportunity of the game for Maple Grove.
The Crimson hope to extend their season in the losers’ bracket this week.
WOODEN BAT TOURNAMENT
Prior to the sections, the Crimson 9 traveled north to participate in the Des Sagedahl Wooden Bat Tournament held at Bemidji State University.
In opening round action MY 17, Maple Grove fell victim to a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning, handing Bemidji an 8-7 win.
Collins led Maple Grove’s offense as he reached base four times in the game. With the Crimson down one run in the top of the seventh, Collins ignited a comeback with a leadoff double. Franta singled to centerfield plating Collins and sending the game into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th, Maple Grove regained the lead as Blake Whitecotton singled and scored on a two out single by Kuebelbeck. Two Crimson fielding errors and a single delivered enough runs for a Lumberjack rally.
Riley Byland was outstanding in relief, pitching 5 1/3 innings allowing one earned run on three hits.
An eight-run explosion in the second inning carried Maple Grove to a 12-1 win in five innings over Roseau May 18.
Franta racked up four RBIs on two hits for the Crimson. He doubled in the first inning and singled in the second inning. Left-hander Charlie Horton looked sharp on the mound. Roseau managed just one hit off the Crimson pitcher, who allowed no earned runs, walked five and struck out four during his five innings of work.
Second-baseman Mason McMahon went 2-3, sparking Maple Grove to a 3-0 victory in seven innings over Duluth East May 18 at Bemidji State.
Maple Grove starter Mitchell Scott kept Duluth East off the scoreboard for all seven innings he was on the hill. He pitched a shutout, allowing no runs on two hits while striking out four.