Knowles, Greyhounds cruise past Raiders in Section 2A playoffs

Photo courtesy of Don Borstad New Ulm Cathedral’s Sam Knowles slides into home plate during a Section 2A playoff game with Nicollet at Johnson Park on Thursday.

NEW ULM — New Ulm Cathedral right-hander Sam Knowles set down the first 13 Nicollet batters in a row and the top-seeded Greyhounds blanked the Raiders 10-0 Thursday afternoon at Johnson Park in a Section 2A first-round baseball playoff game.

The game was stopped in the fifth inning because of the 10-run lead rule.

Knowles struck out eight and did not walk a batter. He allowed just two hits with both of them coming in the Raiders’ fifth inning when Nicollet mounted their only scoring threat.

Dominic Rosin took the season-ending loss for Nicollet (0-17).

Jake Finstad and Carter Haala each had two hits for Cathedral who improved to 18-2 on the year.

They will host Cleveland next Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Johnson Park.

For the Greyhounds and head coach Alan Woitas, it was just another day at the office for Cathedral.

“We ran the bases well (seven stolen bases, including a steal of home by Knowles in the second inning) and Sam did a nice job on the mound mixing his pitches,” Woitas said. “And for the most part we made plays behind him. It was a good start to the section playoffs.”

Cathedral plated two runs off the right-handed Rosin in the first inning when Isaiah Rieser led off with a bunt single. He swiped second and went to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a second wild pitch by Rosin. Knowles coaxed a one-out walk and promptly stole second. A Levi Franta base hit and a Carter Haala groundout made it 2-0.

The Greyhounds added four more runs in the second inning when David Wilfahrt singled and Thomas Finstad reached on catcher’s interference — one of two catcher’s interference calls made on the Raiders in the game. A groundout, a Jake Finstad double, an error and a Knowles steal of home had the Greyhounds leading 6-0.

But the Greyhounds did not score again until the fifth inning.

“We squandered some (scoring) opportunities in the third and fourth innings, and hopefully we learned from that and can capitalize on those opportunities in future games,” Woitas said.

Nicollet did mount a threat in the top of the fifth inning when Austyn Kramer broke up Knowles’ perfect game with a one-out single to center field. Knowles struck out Chris Zajac for the second out before an infield error and a Connor Martens single loaded the bases.

But Knowles recorded the third out on a groundout.

Cathedral then ended the game in the fifth when Haala singled, took second and third on two wild pitches. Two walks and a second catcher’s interference call added another run. A Kyle Seidl sacrifice fly and a two-run single from Jake Finstad ended the game.


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