BY DAVE PEDERSEN
CROW RIVER NEWS
Two area amateur baseball teams started out in the state tournament last weekend and only one lived to see another game. Both games involved walk off hits.
Delano’s season ended with a 3-2 loss to the Luverne Redbirds in the first round of the Class C Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament in Jordan.
Loretto won a pitcher’s duel when Jake Steinbach hit a walk off home run in the last of the 10 to power the Larks to a 1-0 victory over St. Benedict at Jordan Sunday. The game was moved to Arlington when rain washed out the Jordan field.
Ryan Tapani pitched all 10 innings, allowing just four hits and striking out 11. Loretto scattered seven hits. Rockford grad Tyler Maher provided a fourth inning double. Ryan Schaust had a double in the seventh. Loretto had runners in scoring position the last four innings but could not capitalize.
Loretto moves on to face New Ulm, 5 p.m. Friday in Jordan. New Ulm is the home down of former Twin player and current coach Terry Steinbach, who has two sons playing for the Larks, Luke and Jake.
Kent Koch and Tyler Maher will go against former St. Cloud State teammates Garrett Fischer and Zac Hoffman. If Loretto defeats New Ulm it would play at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30 at Belle Plaine.
Delano trailed 2-0 before Kevin Jaunich tied the game in the eighth with a 2-run double. In the bottom of the ninth Luverne led off with a double and advanced the runner to third with two outs. A single won the game, ending the season for Delano with a record of 17-12.