The Sacred Heart Eagles had great pitching from Sam Gapp and Parker Erickson and timely hitting to beat the Kittson County Central Bearcats 5-0 to advance to the Section 8A Baseball championship on Thursday.  “It was a well-played game by both teams,” said Sacred Heart Coach Paul Bethke. “We capitalized when we needed to today.”

Sacred Heart had a great start to the game with a leadoff single from Cullen Rohrich.  He stole second base and scored on a Gage Wavra single for a 1-0 lead. “That was huge,” said Coach Bethke. “We didn’t have a lot of hits today, but we had some timely hits and that was one of them.”

The Eagles added another run in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out rally.  Josiah Sunby reached on a walk, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and scored on a Sam Gapp single for a 2-0 lead. “That is huge to get your entire lineup involved,” said Coach Bethke. “Josiah was ready to go and every run we scored was huge.”

After a scoreless third inning, Sacred Heart added a run in the fourth when Isaac Zavoral was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Parker Erickson.  Caden Reimer walked, and after a strikeout, Cullen Rohrich singled to score a run for a 3-0 lead.  “Every run is important at playoff time,” said Coach Bethke. “It was nice to expand the lead.”

Sacred Heart didn’t score in the fifth inning, but they added two insurance runs in the sixth.  Parker Erickson singled, but the next two batters were retired.  Cullen Rohrich singled in a run for a 4-0 lead.  Rohrich stole second base and the throw to second base sailed into centerfield, and he advanced to third base.  The centerfielder overran the ball, and Rohrich scored to give the Eagles a 5-0 lead. “Those insurance runs are always huge,” said Coach Bethke. “That gave us a little extra wiggle room.”

In the top of the seventh inning, Parker Erickson retired the first batter.  The next batter singled before the Eagles got two outs in the next two at-bats for a 5-0 victory.  Sacred Heart pitched Sam Gapp less than 50 pitches in the first four innings, and they pitched Parker Erickson three innings and less than 50 pitches, so both pitchers will have their full allotment of 115 pitches on Thursday.  “They are great pitchers and they mix things up and keep the batters off-balance,” said Coach Bethke. “We also had one of our best all-around efforts today and played pretty good defense.”

Sacred Heart will advance to the Section 8A Championship game on Thursday against Fosston.  The game will be at 2:00 p.m., and if Sacred Heart wins, they will play a second game at 5:00 p.m.  “We are where we want to be…in the Section championship and we know we will need to win two games against a very good team,” said Coach Bethke. “It is nice to get back and the plan (with the pitchers) worked out and we will be ready to go.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Kittson County Central 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2
Sacred Heart 1 1 0 1 0 2 x 5 6 1


Pitching IP H R ER BB K
Tyler Hennen-KCC 6.0 6 5 4 5 4
Sam Gapp-Sacred Heart 4.0 2 0 0 1 4
Parker Erickson – Sacred Heart 3.0 1 0 0 3 2

Cullen Rohrich – 3 for 3, 2 rbi, 2 runs
Sam Gapp – 1 for 2, rbi, walk
Parker Erickson – 1 for 2, run
Gage Wavra – 1-4, rbi

For Kittson County Central  –
Adam Gustafson, Isaac Fulland, and Ethan Hanson had one hit each.