Minnetonka, MN - Wayzata Post 118 squared off against Five Points Bank Creighton Prep in the second semi-final of the Gopher Classic for the right to face West Fargo in the final game later this afternoon. Wayzata pitcher Peyton Gallagher was near perfect on the mound allowing just one hit while striking out seven batters to guide his team to a 1-0 win at Veteran’s Field in Minnetonka, MN.
Post 118 put themselves into position to defend the Gopher Classic title by winning the Prior Lake site pool by posting a 5-0 record. Wins over Prior Lake (15-5), Andover (9-0), Helena (4-1), Mitchell (6-2), Wausau (3-2) set up their playoff wins on Monday over Fargo (8-0) and Green Bay 3-0. Wayzata had only allowed 10 runs in 8 games and they looked to continue that trend with Gallagher on the mound.
Gallagher did just that but shutting down Creighton Prep by retiring the first 16 batters he faced. His counterpart, Tommy Steier was equally effective in keeping Wayzata at bay allowing just 4 hits in his effort.
Wayzata opened the scoring in the bottom half of the second inning after Chad Musser singled to right field and was sacrificed to second base by Jack Rothstein. Charles Engdahl promptly delivered a single up the middle to score Musser for the 1-0 lead.
Wayzata mounted a threat in the bottom half of the fifth inning with a one out base hit by Danny Deis. Keegan Nickel walked yet Creighton Prep recorded their second double play to escape trouble to continue the trend of the well paced, pitched, and defended game.
Evan Laney knocked a hit up the middle for Creighton Prep’s first hit of the game with one out in the sixth inning that brought on a raucous eruption from their typically vocal dugout. Gallagher responded by inducing a 6-4-3 double play to bring the Wayzata fan base to their feet.
Creighton Prep did not go quietly in the seventh, however. With one out, Will Hanafan struck out yet reached base on a dropped third strike setting up a tense close to the 1-0 game in the bottom of the seventh. Gallagher induced Dylan Phillips to pop out to second base. With catcher Owen Richter up with two outs, Gallagher burned one in the dirt to advance Hanafan to scoring position. Gallagher took a called third strike for the game's’ final out on a pitch about letter high to end the game.