St, Paul, MN - Joey Danielson picked the perfect time of the season to launch his first homerun of the year. The Eden Prairie catcher capped of a 4-4 day at the plate by depositing a 378 foot bast over the left field wall at CHS Field to snap a 4-4 tie against Excelsior that held up for a 5-4 win in Minnesota American Legion Division I State Tournament.
The two teams were engaged in a robust back-and-forth affair that saw four different lead changes and nobody led by more than one in the game. Eden Prairie starting pitcher Connor Young worked 7 innings on the mound and allowed all four runs of which three were earned. Young struck out 6 and walked four while yielding 5 hits to the solid hitting Excelsior team.
Ben Shepard came on in relief to work the 8th and 9th inning to pick up the win. He allowed two hits yet a pair of Excelsior base running mistakes aided the Eden Prairie cause as a base runner was caught off second base in the 8th and 9th innings.
Connor Cutshall started the game on the mound for Excelsior and he pitched into the 8th inning allowing 5 runs of which 3 were earned fueled by 5 errors committed by Excelsior. The big blow was the solo blast by Danielson that ended the day for Cutshall as John Rtterath pitched the final 2/3 of the eighth inning.
Mike Espe continued his torrid clip at the plate for Eden Prairie as he was 3-5 with a run scored and also had an RBI. Exelsior was led at the plate by Jared Wandersee who was 2-4 with a pair of runs scored while Jack Queenan knocked in two runs on the strength of a double.
The season concluded an impressive campaign for Excelsior who posted a 38-6-3 record.
Eden Prairie (21-9) advance to face the winner of the Stillwater and Waconia game that will be played at CHS Field this afternoon at 4pm.
Images courtesy of John Sherman, Sun Current Newspapers