By Brenda Erdahl Sports Editor:
After winning two shutouts in the first games of the Section 5AA Baseball Tournament, the Irish edged Glencoe-Silver Lake, Monday, June 4 for position in the final game where a state tournament berth is at stake.
The Irish went into the tournament with the No. 1 seed and an 18-2 record. After a firstround bye, Maple Lake faced No. 8 seed Norwood Young- America on Wednesday, May 30.
Grant Mergen led the 10-0 shutout from the mound, throwing five innings and allowing zero runs on two hits with six strikeouts.
A fielder’s choice in the first inning put the Irish on the board when a runner scored. A Ben Clapp single sparked Maple Lake’s big third inning, driving in the first of four runs; Mergen pushed in another run with his single. Nate Hogan followed up with a single on a pop fly to center field to score Clapp. Hogan later scored when Alex Toedter walked to make the score 5-0.
The Irish put up three more runs in the bottom of the third and two more in the bottom of the fifth as good measure.
Ben Goelz, Hogan, Clapp, Mergen, and Cole Trager all had multiple hits for the Irish with Ben Goelz claiming three in four at bats.
Ben Reilley threw the Irish’s 6-0 shutout the next evening, Thursday, May 31, when they took on No. 12 seed Breck. He also got the offense going when he drew a walk to score the Irish’s first run. The Irish scored another run on an error. Hoistad then singled on a line drive to center field to score Maple Lake’s final run of the inning, giving them a 3-0 lead. Maple Lake put up one more run in the second, and two in the fourth to secure the win. Ben Goelz led hitting with two hits in three at bats.
Reilley surrendered no runs on five hits over seven innings. He struck out 10 and walked none.
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