The run is over. Rushford-Peterson’s memorable 2018 baseball season was destined to end on either June 15 or June 16. The Trojans hoped for the 16th (state title game at Target Field). Instead, R-P played a game in Chaska, then a game in Jordan. Miscues were an issue, though it was not just a Trojan problem. R-P (1A Champion, 15-8) first took on tournament 3-seed South Ridge (7A Champion, 19-5) at Chaska Athletic Park. The critical inning was the third. In a 1-1 game, the Trojans got a “K” for the third out, but Riley Kinsley reached on passed ball. With runners on the corners, Mason Lane then had the biggest hit of the contest, a 2-run double. Matt Clark followed with an RBI-double. South Ridge took a 4-1 lead. They added a run in the fourth. R-P had just one hit over its final 11 batters, just four hits total, and fell 5-1. They got their only run via a Payton Hahn bases loaded fielder’s choice RBI, scoring Jake Paulson (second inning). Starting pitcher Shawn Marg was 2-for-3 but took the loss on the mound (4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K). Nick Carlson (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) took the win without yielding an earned run. He also went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run. Lane (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R), Joey Janke (2-4, SB, R), Logan Young (1-3, RBI, R), Clark (1-3, 2B, R), and Kinsley (0-3, R) produced for the Panthers. R-P out-errored South Ridge 4 to 2. The Trojans then moved into the consolation bracket, games at the nearby Mini-Met in Jordan. The Trojans took on a familiar foe, Hinckley-Finlayson (5A Champion, 14-5). The teams met in the consolation final in basketball. A game highlighted by errors came down to the at bat. H-F put up two in the first, R-P two in the fourth. In the bottom of the sixth, the Jaguars used a hit, a stolen base, a throwing error, and another hit to plate two. The Trojans trailed 4-2 heading to the top of seven. Landon Skalet’s RBI-triple scored Seth Heiden, making it 4-3. With two out, Ben Ansell reached on an error with Skalet scoring the tying run (4-4). After another error and a walk loaded the bases, Carter Weidemann authored a 2-run single that made it 6-4. The Trojans got four runs in the inning off two hits and two errors, albeit, they left the bases juiced. Jordan Aug’s club was three outs away from the consolation final (5th place game). But then three of H-F’s first four batters in the bottom of the seventh reached on Trojan errors. A pair of runs scored, tying the game 6-6. Still, two fly-outs had R-P one out away from extras. But pinch-hitter Brady Johnson (in the nine-hole) singled to right field, scoring the game-winning run, Travis Visser from second base. The Jaguars prevailed 7-6. Marg (2-3) again had two hits. Weidemann (1-4) had 3 RBIs. Skalet (1-3, 3B, R) and Halen Schwendinger (0-2) also had RBIs. Ansell (1-4, 2 R), Dawson Dahl (0-3, 2 R), and Heiden also scored runs. Ansell (2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER) took the loss, Mueller (6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) a no decision. Adam Bridenstine (1/3 IP) took the win, Ryan Stafne (6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) the no decision. Chayne Dunkley was 4-for-4 (RBI, two 2B, 2 R) to lead the H-F bats. Visser (1-4) drove in two while Trevor Johnson (1-4) scored twice. The game had ten total errors with just five of the 13 total runs earned. R-P’s season ends at 15-10. It was a great run for seniors Dahl, Ansell, Marg, Paulson, Hahn, Keegan Dittman, and Sam Schwendinger. Dahl, Paulson, and junior Landon Skalet pull the hat trick. They play on state teams in football (2017), basketball (2018), and baseball (2018), a feat rarely performed in the Fillmore County Sports era. Only former teammate Noah Carlson had previously done so (unofficially), as he went in track and field (2013-2016), basketball (2014, 2015), and football (2016). Chatfield watched its football, wrestling, and baseball teams go to state during the 2013-2014 school year, though no Gopher played on all three teams.
About Paul Trende