HAMBURG - The Searles Bullheads took second place in Class AA of the 35-and-over Minnesota Senior Men's Amateur Baseball Association state tournament on Sunday.
The No. 1-seeded Prior Lake Mariners defeated the No. 11-seeded Bullheads 8-3 in the championship game played Sunday evening in Hamburg.
The Mariners took a 2-0 lead by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third inning. But Searles came back and score three runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead.
With the bases loaded and one out, Chris Peters delivered a two-run single, scoring Troy Kamm, who got on via the first of his two infield hits, and John Giefer. Craig Schmitz followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Corey Schaefer, who had reached base on a hit-by-pitch and advanced to third on the Peters' hit.
The sacrifice by Schmitz was the Bullheads' second of the game and 17th in the four state tournament games.
The 3-2 Bullheads' lead was shortlived as the Mariners scored three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth and then put the game out of reach by scoring three more times in the sixth to make the final score 8-3.
The Bullheads managed just five hits in the game off of the Mariners pitcher Bill Gabler. Giefer and Brian Sieve had the other two hits for Searles.
Cory Haala pitched the first four innings for Searles, giving up two runs on five hits. Peters pitched the last two innings and suffered the loss for the Bullheads, who ended their season with a final record of 12-8.
Following the championship game, the Bullheads' Myron Fluegge received the "Oldest Player Award" from among the 28 tournament teams.
The Searles Bullheads had reached the championship game by defeating the No. 2-seeded St. Peter Saints 4-3 in eight innings on Saturday in Arlington. That win for the Bullheads had special meaning since St. Peter had defeated Searles in the 2013 Class AA championship game.
Scott Rummel improved his season pitching record to 7-0, as he went all eight innings in the win against St. Peter. The Bullheads players thank their fans for their support this past season.