Rebels fall out of contention at state baseball tournament; will play for fifth Friday
JORDAN/CHASKA — It just wasn’t a good day for the Southland baseball team.
The Rebels (22-5 overall) committed seven errors in two games as they lost to Sebeka 12-3 in the opening round and edged out Fosston 10-6 in the consolation round at the Class ‘A’ state baseball tournament Thursday.
Southland will now play Adrian in the fifth place game at Chaska Friday at noon.
Sebeka (21-5 overall), which advanced to the title game, took over the opening game in Jordan when it rattled off six straight hits to start the third inning and knocked starting pitcher Mitch Nagele out of the game. Cody Puliju knocked in two runs with a single and Taylor Pederson belted a two-run double to left field in the rally for Sebeka.
The Trojans, who ended up leading 7-0 after three innings, went on to score six unearned runs off of reliever Chris May.
“It was a team effort all the way across the board,” Southland head coach Scott Retterath said of the loss that knocked his team out of state title contention. “We didn’t hit, we didn’t score runs and we had a few miscues in the field. All of that together is a recipe for disaster. It was a tough one.”
The trouble started right away for Southland as Brenen Brockpahler led off the game with a double on an 0-2 pitch. Paul Funk reached on a dropped pop fly and Alex Brockpahler hit a sacrifice fly before Puliju knocked in a run with a two-out hit.
“We can’t make that many errors. We knew once we started doing that, it was going to be trouble,” said Southland left fielder Adam Kiefer.
Kiefer had two of Southland’s four hits against Sebeka as he doubled and drove in two runs.
“Sometimes you can see certain pitchers better than other people,” he said. “I was hitting pretty well and other people must not have seen him as well.”
Southland also got off to a bad start against Fosston (18-7 overall) in a consolation game played in Chaska.
The Greyhounds scored a run in the first, but stranded runners on first and third after Southland pitcher Alan May ended the rally by forcing a pop-out.
“To be honest, we didn’t have our heads very high (after the first game),” Southland catcher Clint Bergene said. “We weren’t worried coming in, but we thought we had something to prove.”
Southland took a 5-1 lead in the top of the second by taking advantage of three Greyhound errors and Chris May delivered a stand-up triple to right field that knocked in two runs during the rally.
Fosston rallied to make it 5-4 in the bottom of the second, but Alan May got a strikeout to end the inning with runners on second and third.
The Rebels tacked on three more runs in the third when Mitch Heimer and Alan May drove in runs with singles and Kiefer grounded out to score a run.
While Southland committed four errors against Fosston, they played some solid defense as well. Trevor Emanuel made a diving catch at third and threw to second to get a double play in the bottom of the third and Chris May threw two runners out at the plate from center field.
“Chris is always real on with his throws, even with that tail that he has. He came through both times and that was nice,” Bergene said.
While he was hoping his squad could compete for a state title, Retterath was glad his team pulled off one win on the day.
“Any win you can get in the state tournament is good,” he said. “Every team up is not up here because they’re bad. We scratched and clawed in the second game.”
Sebeka 2 0 5 0 0 3 2 — 12 13 1
Southland 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 — 3 4 5
Southland pitching: Mitch Nagele (L), 2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 K; Chris May, 5 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 6 R, 0 ER, 8 K
Southland hitting: Alan May, 1-for-3, R, BB; Adam Kiefer, 2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs; Chris May, 0-for-4; Connor Mielke, 1-for-2, HR, RBI, R, BB; Nagele, 0-for-3; Clint Bergene, 0-for-2, BB; Mitch Heimer, 0-for-2, R, BB; Trevor Emanuel, 0-for-3; Grant Hegge, 0-for-2, BB
Southland 0 5 3 0 0 1 0 — 10 12 4
Fosston 1 3 0 0 1 1 0 — 6 10 3
Southland pitching: Alan May (W), 5 2/3 IP, 9 H, 4 BB, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 K, 1 HBP; Chris May (S) 1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R
Southland hitting: Alan May, 2-for-4, RBI, R, 3 SB, BB; Kiefer, 0-for-3, RBI, 2 R, BB, HBP; Chris May, 2-for-5, triple. 2 RBIs; Mielke, 1-for-5, double; Nagele, 1-for-4, RBI, 2 R, BB; Bergene, 3-for-4, double, 2 R, BB; Heimer, 1-for-3, RBI; Emanuel, 1-for-3, RBI; Hegge, 0-for-4, SB; Mike Goergen, R