Baseball: Athletics win wild contest to grab first ever subsection title

Published 7:12 pm Saturday, May 26, 2018

Lyle-Pacelli made program history when it finished on top in a roller coaster ride to beat United South Central 17-11 to win its first ever Section 1A West title at Seltz Field Saturday.

The Rebels grabbed momentum when they scored seven runs in the top of the third inning to go up 7-3, but the Athletics didn’t flinch. LP responded by scoring nine runs in the bottom of the third to go back up 12-7 and it never trailed again. The Athletics had just three hits in the rally, but they reached base nine times in the frame off of walks, hit batters and errors.

Lyle-Pacelli’s Taylor Arett comes down from a high catch as United South Central’s Jacob Stevermer slides head first into third during the Section 1A West Tournament at Dick Seltz Field Saturday afternoon. Eric Johnson/

“It’s crazy. We’ve never been this far before,” LP freshman Zach Bollingberg said. “After we got down 7-3, I just knew we were going to come back and when we got those nine runs I really knew we were going to come out with the win.”

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Bollingberg started the game on the mound, but he was relieved in the midst of USC’s third inning rally. Bollingberg got back on the mound in the top of the fifth after USC had pulled to within 12-10 with the bases loaded. Bollingberg picked up a strikeout and he forced a pop out to preserve a 12-11 lead and LP held on.

“I knew it was best for the team for someone else to come in, because I wasn’t pitching my best that [third] inning,” Bollingberg said. “When I came back in I knew I had to come in and throw strikes.

LP senior Taylor Arett picked up the pitching win in a 3-2 victory over Blooming Prairie in the Section 1A semifinals as he struck out nine. On the day, Arett went five-for-nine with a double and five RBIs at the plate.

“I didn’t throw a lot of my off-speed against BP,” Arett said. “A lot them couldn’t catch up to my fast ball, so I threw that a lot. It worked.”

The win was a big one for LP as it avoided having to win two elimination games. Hayfield, which lost to USC 10-6, will play BP in an elimination contest at Seltz Field at 4 p.m. Monday. The winner of that game will play USC with a trip to the Section 1A tournament on the line.

LP will be able to wait until Saturday before it’s next game, which is a big advantage. LP head coach Brock Meyer used five different pitchers on Saturday and he wasn’t sure what the team would’ve had left if it had to play Monday.

“The kids battled through. It means a lot. These kids have worked their butts of and they’ve played a lot of baseball. It’s fun to be able to see them come out and win,” Meyer said. “In a game like that [against USC], both teams just wanted to get someone throwing strikes and get out of here. After they had that big inning, I didn’t really know what to do. But I knew if I put Zach back in it, we’d at least get them to hit the ball and then Cole [Walter] did a good job of hitting the ball.”

Lyle-Pacelli’s Jayden Lewis tags United South Central’s Isaac Meyer on a stolen base attempt in the Section 1A West Tournament Saturday at Dick Setlz Field. Eric Johnson/

USC 0 0 0 7 4 0 0 – 11 10 3
LP 1 0 2 9 3 2 X – 17 12 2

LP pitching: Zach Bollingberg, 5 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 K; Jed Nelson (W) 1 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 HBP; Bryce Strouf, 0 IP, 2 BB, 1 ER, 1 HBP; Cole Walter, 1 IP, 0 R, 1 K

LP hitting: Walter, 1-for-5, RBI, BB, 2 SB, 2 R; Zach Bollingberg, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, R, 2 BBs, SB; Nelson, 1-for-3, 3 RBIs, BB, 2 R; Taylor Arett, 3-for-5, double, 3 RBIs; Tanner Murphy, 1-for-4, 2 RBIs, R; Strouf, 2-for-2, double, 3 R, 2 S, 3 BBs; Trinity Anderson, 1-for-5; Sam Nelsen, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 R, HBP, BB; Jayden Lewis, 1-for-3, RBI, 2 R, 2 BBs, 2 R; Tyson Anderson, SB, R

LP 3, USC 2

LP pitching: Arett (W) 7 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 ER, 9 K

LP hitting: Walter, 1-for-2, 2 BBs; Bollingberg, 0-for-4, R, SB; Nelson, 2-for-3, 2 R, SB, BB; Arett, 2-for-4, 2 RBIs; Murphy, 0-for-4; Strouf, 1-for-3, BB; Trinity Anderson, 0-for-1, 2 BBs; Nelsen, 1-for-2; Lewis, 0-for-2, BB