Close call: Lyle-Pacelli’s state title run comes up just short

Published 3:06 pm Friday, June 16, 2023

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ST. PAUL – After a 14-game winning streak and a late surge in the championship game, the Athletics came up one hit short of being in a position to win the first Class A baseball title in program history as they bowed out with a 3-2 loss to No. 5 Fosston in CHS Field Friday.

No. 3 Lyle-Pacelli (24-2 overall) had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the seventh inning after Jack Klingfus beat out an infield single, Trey Anderson walked and Landon Meyer singled, but they scored just one run in the frame. Fosston’s Carsen Boushee struck out Mac Nelson, he allowed a bases loaded walk to Hunter VaDeer, and then he struck out Jake Truckenmiller and forced Isaac Nelsen to ground out to end the game.

“It sucks. I don’t think we were on our game today with our bats,” Truckenmiller said. “We didn’t come ready and they did, but I’ll be able to appreciate this (eventually). It was awesome and we had fun this year, but it sucks and we wanted to win.”

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Fosston (24-4 overall) scored on an RBI double by Aaron Norland to go up 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth after LP had pulled to within 2-1 on a sacrifice fly by Isaac Nelsen in the top of the sixth.

LP also had runners at the corners with no outs in the sixth and it left the bases loaded in the fourth inning. 

“We’ve been getting those big hits all year and it just didn’t happen today. We fought to the end and that’s what we teach. We’re still proud of them,” LP head coach Brock Meyer said. “There’s no disappointment. We knew that Fossum had a really good team and they play really good defense. We knew just putting the ball in play probably wasn’t going to be good enough for them. I just feel for the kids and I wish they could’ve gotten that big hit. We fought to the end and that’s just the way that baseball goes.”

LP senior Mac Nelson had been playing shortstop for most of the team’s playoff run, but he was ready to go on the mound Friday. He allowed just five hits, one walk and two earned runs, while striking out three in six innings.

“I just knew I had to throw strikes, stay low in the zone and force ground outs and fly outs,” Nelson said. “I was feeling good and I came into this game with full confidence. I was satisfied with my performance on the mound. I left a couple of balls up in the zone and that gave them the lead, but I was still satisfied with my performance.”

While LP would’ve liked to have finished things off on Friday, the Athletics will look back on this season as their best to date. LP earned its first trip to state in program history and it also has a lot of underclassmen coming back who gained valuable state tournament experience.

“It meant everything to get here,” Nelson said. “I love these boys and we had an awesome season. Every game we went out and had fun and it was an awesome season.”

LP 0 0 0  0 0 1  1  –  2  6  1

Fosston 0 1 0  1 0 1  X  –  3  5  1

LP pitching: Mac Nelson (L) 6 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 K

LP hitting: Landon Meyer, 1-for-4; Mac Nelson, 0-for-4; Hunter VaDeer, 2-for-3, RBI, R, BB; Jake Truckenmiller, 1-for-4; Isaac Nelsen, 0-for-2, RBI, BB; Dane Schara, 0-for-3; Logyn Brooks, 1-for-2, BB; Jack Klingfus, 1-for-3, R; Trey Anderson, 0-for-1, 2 BBs