Rebels baseball team is headed to state tournament

Published 11:46 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ROCHESTER — Warm up the bus — the Rebels are headed back to the Class ‘A’ state baseball tournament.

Southland (21-4 overall) beat Randolph 7-5 in the Section 1A title game at Hudson Field in Rochester Tuesday.

Mitch Nagele picked up the win on the mound and he belted a solo home run and a two-run double in the second inning, where the Rebels sent 12 hitters to the plate and surged to a 7-2 lead.

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Nagele had allowed a two-run homer to Ethan Kuehn in the top of the first inning.

“After that (homer), I was like ‘crap’. But I just focused on keeping the ball low after that,” Nagele said. “I had to make up for the home run, so I put everything I had into (my next) swing.”

Randolph’s Paul Weidner hit a three-run shot with one out in the seventh to close the gap to 7-5 and Chris May came in and got the last two outs to seal the trip to state.

“We were hoping to get five or six innings out of Mitch and we might of left him out their one batter too long,” Southland head coach Scott Retterath said. “But with a five-run lead we felt good.”

Southland’s second inning rally started with Nagele’s homer, but Trevor Emanuel gave it new life when he beat out a one-out ground ball for an infield single to put runners on first and second. Randolph (19-6 overall) committed a error that allowed on the next play and Chris May and Nagele capped the rally with a pair of two-run doubles.

“We were confident and we weren’t getting down in our dugout (after the first inning homer). We were staying up and yelling,” Chris May. “We need to do a better job of not scoring in just one inning. We need to score runs in more innings and be more consistent.”

Chris May, Alan May and Mitch Nagele were all starters on the Southland team that took second at the Class ‘A’ state tournament last season.

“This feels more like its our team instead of their team,” Nagele said. “We’ve got to stay focused and take it one game at a time.”

Retterath said the experience those three players gained in 2008 was a huge boost and he’s glad their getting another shot at state.

“They were hungry and they wanted to get back to state,” he said. “The last couple of days they had a different focus about them. They’re kind of jokesters, but on the bus ride up here they weren’t joking around and they were pretty serious.”

Southland will open state tournament play on Thursday at Jordan and Chris May is sure of the goal.

“I’m hoping this year we can bring home a state championship,” he said.

Randolph 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 — 5 6 1

Southland 0 7 0 0 0 0 X — 7 6 1

Southland pitching: Mitch Nagele (W), 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 R, 4 ER, 7 K, HBP; Chris May, 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 K

Southland hitting: Alan May, 0-for-3, R, BB; Adam Kiefer, 1-for-3, double, RBI, R, BB; Chris May, 2-for-3, double, 2 RBIs, R; Nagele, 2-for-2, HR, double, 3 RBIs, R, BB; Clint Bergene, 0-for-2, BB; Mitch Heimer, 0-for-2, R, BB; Trevor Emanuel, 1-for-3, R; Grant Hegge, 0-for-3, R

Randolph pitching: Phil Otto (L), 1/ 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 K

Randolph hitting: Paul Weidner, 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs; Nick McIntee, 1-for-4, double; Ethan Kuehn, 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs; Scott Otte, 1-for-2; Josh Quast, 1-for-3; Alex Cherwinka, 0-for-3; Tyler Otte, 0-for-3; Matt Duff, 0-for-2, BB; Matt Hoey, 0-for-1, BB