MANKATO - The rubber arm of BOLD Warriors pitcher Logan Sandgren essentially bounced the New Ulm Cathedral Greyhounds baseball team from the state tournament Thursday night.
BOLD had to win twice to eliminate Cathedral and they did so with a commanding 10-4 win in the early game and holding on to win 8-6 in the nightcap to give them the Section 2A championship.
Sandgren pitched the first five innings of the first game, giving up two runs on three hits, then coming in to nail the door shut on the Greyhounds with a save by pitching a scoreless seventh inning in the later game. These came 48 hours after shutting out Sleepy Eye St. Mary's and getting a save against Mankato Loyola on Tuesday.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
BOLD’s Logan Sandgren (14) slides in to second for a stolen base as New Ulm Cathedral second baseman Collin Helget (5) catches the ball and shortstop Nick Stadick backs him up on the play.
For more photos of this event go to cu.nujournal.com
Still, with just two seniors leaving, Cathedral coach Bob Weier saw some potential positives coming out of the losses.
"This gave some valuable experience to our younger players," Weier said. "Hopefully it'll help us next year knowing what it takes to win. BOLD is a good team, probably the best in the state. But we kept on battling and I'm so very proud of this team. Today just wasn't meant to be."
In the first game, the Warriors scored in every inning but the fifth, hanging up three runs in the second and four more in the top of the sixth, which gave them a 10-2 lead at the time. Three errors and two wild pitches contributed to the Greyhounds woes.
A two-run sixth for Cathedral gave fans some hope the offense might come out of it's slumber going into the second game with a different pitcher on the mound for BOLD and just needing a single win to advance in the tourney.
While the Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first in game two, the Greyhounds bats awakened in the bottom of the fourth. Collin Helget led off with a single to center, followed by a walk to Russ Hoffman and a single to left by Brandon Beranek made it 2-1. With runners at second and third, Jack Schwartz laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to plate Hoffman.
Making things even better for Cathedral, none of the BOLD infielders were by their bases, allowing Beranek to take third and Schwartz perched on second. An Evan Atzenhoefer grounder gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the night at 3-2.
This margin was short lived, though, as two errors, a walk, a hit batter and three Warriors hits would combine for a five spot and give BOLD a 7-3 lead. Cathedral staged another comeback in the fifth as Nate Palmer doubled after a Gabe Knowles walk, with Palmer scoring on consecutive ground balls to make it 7-5. Beranek further cut the lead with a leadoff homer over the left field fence to start the sixth.
But the Warriors would turn a leadoff walk into another run after a double down the first base line that gave Sandgren two runs to work with when he entered the game in the seventh and got a grounder and two strikeouts to end Cathedral's season.