KoMets advance, while Mayo has heart broken
Like a finely aged wine Joey Hyde got better with time Thursday afternoon at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.
The Kasson-Mantorville senior pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning and was strong to the finish as the No. 5 seed KoMets beat No. 4 seed Hermantown 4-1 in a Class AA state quarterfinal game.
K-M rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth inning with run-scoring extra-base hits from Riley Donovan and Jayden Prigge, and now the KoMets are further than ever before at the state baseball tournament. K-M lost its first game at state in 2005 and 2011.
Hyde didn't allow a hit over the last three innings and retired 10 of the last 11 Hermantown batters in order to improve to 8-2 this season.
K-M (23-6) will be the underdog against No. 1 seed St. Cloud Cathedral (24-2) in the semifinal round at noon today at Dick Putz Field. A loss puts K-M in the third-place game at 5 p.m. today; a win puts the KoMets in the championship game at 1 p.m. Monday at Target Field in Minneapolis.
St. Cloud Cathedral beat Luverne 4-1 behind a 1-hitter by pitcher Jeff Fasching. Cathedral brings a 12-game win streak and a remarkably low team ERA of 1.04 into the semifinals, along with a tradition of success. The Crusaders have won seven state titles, most recently in 2011, and finished second in 2012.
Throughout the postseason, the Rochester Mayo Spartans have been the comeback kids.
Thursday at Midway Stadium during the Class AAA state tournament against Minnetonka, the shoe was on the other foot.
Mayo led 2-0 throughout the quarterfinal tilt, but No. 2-seeded Minnetonka rallied with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning then got the game-winner in the 11th, earning the 3-2 victory.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Spartans, who put two runs on the board in the first inning and then played stellar defense over the next seven frames.
In both the fifth and sixth innings, the Spartans had a runner held at third on what would have been close plays at the plate. On the next at-bat both times, the Spartans grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Spartans, who dropped to 14-12, play again at 12:30 p.m. today at Dick Siebert Field on the University of Minnesota campus against Lakeville North in the losers bracket. Minnetonka advanced to the state semifinals today against Rocori.
Mayo received a great pitching performance from junior left-hander Jackson Douglas. He tossed eight innings and allowed just one earned run. Tommy Hanson was the tough-luck loser in relief.
Wabasha-Kellogg entered play in the Class A state tournament as the No. 1 seed and with a 12-game winning streak. But W-K suffered a lopsided 13-0 loss in six innings to unseeded BOLD in the state quarterfinals.
W-K has seven players on its roster with state experience from 2011 and had hopes of competing for a state title.
"I don't think it was so much nerves," W-K coach Pat Moham said. "Sure you're going to have some jitters."
The Falcons (17-2) did commit five errors, leading to five unearned runs. But BOLD junior left-hander Logan Sandgren also threw a no-hitter for the second straight game.
"We just tried to prove we should be up there with them," Sandgren said of BOLD being unseeded in the eight-team field.
W-K will now face Windom in the consolation round at 10 a.m. today at Chaska Athletic Park. The winner will then play in the fifth-place game at 3 p.m. while the loser is eliminated.
"We came here to play baseball," W-K senior Will Greenheck said. "We want to play three games. We don't want to be two-and-done."