After a tough loss to Wayzata yesterday afternoon, Tri-City will get a shot at revenge. Their 10-9 win over Rosetown ensures a rematch with the Trojans in the state championship and a berth in the regional tournament in Dickinson, North Dakota.
After waiting until the last inning to get their first runs last game, Tri-City Red hopped on the scoreboard early. Carter Traczyk and John Solfest each hit a double to drive in a run and make it 2-0. John Solfest stole home later in the inning to put the exclamation point on a 3 run first for Tri-City. Tri-City pitcher Hunter Ault was phenomenal on the mound to begin the game, only allowing a single hit through his first 3 innings of work.
Ty Koehn added to the Tri-City lead with a big double in the 4th, bringing home Adam Nelson. Cole Stenstrom immediately followed with an RBI single. They had a comfortable 4-0 lead after 3 ½ innings.
Rosetown loaded the bases in the bottom half of the 4th and was able to score 2 runs in the inning, with both runners advancing to score off on fielder’s choices.
The 5th and 6th innings were a similar story for the Tri-City offense. Ben Jepko singled in a run in the 5th, while the rest of the team came together to put 2 more on the board in the 6th. The Tri-City lead was now up to 8-2.
Alec Curtis came up big for his Rosetown team in the bottom of the 6th. He hit a bloop single to right that scored both Tschida and Truong. Rosetown got another run across after Avery Nelson was hit by a pitch, making it 8-5.
Tri-City added two more in the top of the 7th, ensuring a 5 run lead entering the final half inning. But there’s something in this Rosetown team that gives them an extra edge late in games. After coming back against Edina last night, they had similar intentions. “They know how to rally the troops. We knew we were in for a dogfight”, Tri City coach Nick Anderson said. They strung together 4 straight singles with no outs, bringing home 4 runs. A sacrifice bunt by Nick Kulseth advancing runners to 2nd and 3rd was the first out of the inning for Tri-City. Then catcher Cole Stenstrom made a fantastic tag at the plate for out number 2, saving the tying run from scoring. Coach Nick Anderson praised his efforts following the game. “ [He’s} not our everyday catcher. He’s a quarterback and a catcher. He’s got great awareness and it showed there on that play.” Teague Bogenholm then grounded out to first to end the game and Rosetown’s state tournament hopes. Tri-City advanced to the championship in a nail-biting 10-9 finish.
Rosetown received the Red Haddox 3rd place trophy. Haddox was a longtime coach for Bloomington Gold and also a longtime state board member. Tri-City advances to the regional tournament and will face Wayzata in the state championship this afternoon. Coach Anderson made it clear that it’s anybody’s game in the regional tournament. “Once you get out to Dickinson, all those teams have made a lot of noise. That being said… we’d love another state championship.” Tri-City and Wayzata face off shortly for the state championship at Braemar’s Courtney Field.