Sam Gapp pitched seven scoreless innings and hit a two-run home run as the Sacred Heart Eagles beat the Fosston Greyhounds 5-0 to force a winner take all Section Championship Game. In game two, Sacred Heart got the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning, but they could not quite overcome six errors, including four in Fosston’s four-run second inning, as they fell to the Fosston Greyhounds in the Section 8A Championship by a score of 7-4.
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME ONE –
Sacred Heart got off to a good start with a run in the first inning. Sam Gapp doubled with one out, and after a strikeout, Ethan Arntson drove him in with an RBI single to grab the early 1-0 lead.
Fosston looked to answer in the bottom half when Aaron Norland reached on an infield single and then got to second on a poor throw on a pickoff attempt. He advanced to third on a groundout, but Sam Gapp was able to induce a groundout to end the inning.
Both pitchers continued to pitch well through the next two innings allowing just one baserunner each but not allowing any runs across. Through three innings, the Eagles had a 1-0 lead over the Greyhounds.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Greyhounds had another opportunity to score. Noah Mahlen reached on an error, and his courtesy runner stole second and got to third on a flyout. Gapp was once again able to strand the runner at third after a lineout to center ended the inning.
After Sacred Heart went scoreless in the top of the fifth inning, Fosston again put pressure on the Eagles’ defense. Carson Boushee reached first on an infield single, and he was bunted to second base. A strikeout from Gapp recorded the second out. A wild pitch again advanced a runner to third with two outs, but for the third time in the game, Gapp left a Greyhounds runner on third after a flyout to center field ended the inning.
Sacred Heart was able to get back on the board in the sixth inning. Sam Gapp walked to lead off the inning and stole second base. After an out, he also stole third base. He came into score on Arntson’s second RBI single of the game to double their lead to 2-0. With runners on first and second, a ground ball right up the middle turned into a double play as the second baseman was standing on second base when he fielded the ball to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Fosston got their leadoff batter on after an error. The second batter of the inning also reached an error that put runners on first and second with nobody out. The Eagles caught a break when the next batter bunted the ball right back to Gapp in the air, and he turned and threw to first for a double play. For the fourth time in the game, Fosston left a runner in scoring position as a pop-out to first ended the inning and kept the game at 2-0 through six innings.
Sacred Heart created some space in the seventh inning with a few insurance runs. Sam Modeen singled with one out. The second out was recorded on a popped-up bunt. Then, Modeen stole second to get a runner in scoring position. Cullen Rohrich worked a 10+ pitch at-bat and finished it off with a pop up to shallow left that fell for an RBI double. A couple of pitches later, Gapp helped his own cause with a two-run homer over the 25-foot fence in left field to give the Eagles a 5-0 lead heading into the final half-inning.
Fosston was able to get a couple of runners on via a walk and a single but could not get them across to score, and the Sacred Heart Eagles finished off a 5-0 victory to force a winner-take-all Section Championship Game.
|Sam Gapp – Sacred Heart||7.0||3||0||0||2||4|
|Noah Mahlen – Fosston||6.2||9||5||5||2||4|
|Lance Balstad- Fosston||0.1||0||0||0||0||0|
For SACRED HEART –
Sam Gapp- 2 for 3, home run, 2 RBI, 3 runs
Ethan Arntson- 2 for 4, 2 RBI
Sam Modeen- 1 for 1, run
Cullen Rohrich, Gage Wavra, Nick Brundin, Josiah Sundby- 1 hit each
For Fosston –
Aaron Norland- 1 for 3
Keegan Senger- 1 for 2, walk
Max Staenke- 1 for 2
CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TWO –
Fosston was able to get a runner on via an error in the first inning, but Parker Erickson got the next batter to ground out and to hold Fosston scoreless after a half-inning.
Like in game one, Sacred Heart was able to get on the board in the first inning. Cullen Rohrich worked a leadoff walk and stole second base before scoring on a single to left field off the bat of Gage Wavra. The inning ended with the Eagles trying to sneak in a run on a first-and-third steal play, but it did not work.
Fosston answered back nicely, capitalizing on four errors in the top of the second inning. Evan Chalich started the inning by reaching on an error and got to second on a wild pitch. He scored on a single from Carson Boushee when the ball got past the outfielder allowing Boushee all the way to third. Boushee scored on a ground ball after the throw home was wide of the target to give Fosston a 2-1 lead. With a runner on second, another error allowed the batter to reach. Then, a walk loaded the bases, and Cullen Norland knocked in two runs with a single to left field to make it 4-1. The second walk of the inning loaded the bases again with two outs, but Erickson got a groundout to end the inning.
After two quick outs in the bottom of the second, Sacred Heart loaded the bases on a Sam Modeen single and back-to-back walks to Josiah Sundby and Rohrich. However, Lance Balstad came on in relief and got a strikeout to end the inning.
Fosston started the third inning with back-to-back singles, which prompted the Eagles to make a pitching change. The change worked as Breck Bloom came on and got three outs on a sacrifice bunt, strikeout, and groundout to keep the score at 4-1.
Sacred Heart looked to cut the deficit down in the bottom of the third when Gage Wavra and Ethan Arntson started the inning with back-to-back walks. The Greyhounds elected to bring in another reliever, Evan Chalich. Chalich got the first batter he faced to strikeout but then walked Isaac Zavoral on four pitches to load the bases. A soft liner off the bat of Parker Erickson went off the glove of Mahlen at first, but he recovered to get an out at second. Still, a run was able to come in and score on the play to cut the Fosston lead to 4-2. Modeen worked a great at-bat and hit a line drive that would have brought in a couple of runs, but a great snag at third ended the inning.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Fosston added onto their lead with a run in the fifth. A leadoff single was followed by two fielder’s choice groundouts. Then, Lance Balstad hit a double to the right-center gap to score the runner from first. Fosston’s lead jumped back up to three at 5-2 through four and a half innings.
Fosston added two more insurance runs in the sixth inning. A walk, stolen base, and a fielder’s choice sacrifice bunt put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly scored the first run. The sixth Eagles’ error of the game allowed the inning to continue with runners at the corners. The Greyhounds executed a hit-and-run to perfection to bring in another run and increase their lead to 7-2.
Sacred Heart was retired in order in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Fosston got a runner to second on a hit-by-pitch and a stolen base, but Arntson stranded him there to keep the deficit at five, heading into the bottom of the seventh.
In the seventh inning, Sacred Heart needed five runs to send the game to extras or six runs to send them to the State Tournament. Cullen Rohrich started the inning with an infield single. Sam Gapp subsequently hit a stand-up triple to right-center to score Rohrich and cut the lead to 7-3. Gage Wavra kept it going with an RBI single down the third baseline to make it 7-4. Arntson kept the line moving with a four-pitch walk to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs. However, Chalich settled back in and got a foul out and a couple of strikeouts to end the game to give the Fosston Greyhounds a 7-4 victory and a trip to the State Tournament.
Sacred Heart’s season comes to an end with a record of 18-6.
Fosston will advance to the State Tournament with a record of 18-6.
|Parker Erickson- Eagles||2.0||4||4||0||2||1|
|Breck Bloom- Eagles||3.0||2||3||2||2||3|
|Ethan Arntson- Eagles||2.0||1||0||0||1||1|
|Aaron Norland- Fosston||1.2||2||1||1||3||1|
|Lance Balstad- Fosston||0.1||0||1||1||2||1|
|Evan Chalich- Fosston||5.0||3||2||2||2||4|
For Sacred Heart –
Gage Wavra- 2 for 3, RBI, run
Cullen Rohrich- 1 for 2, 2 walks, run
Sam Gapp- 1 for 3, triple, RBI, run
Sam Modeen- 1 for 3
For Fosston –
Keegan Senger- 3 for 4, 2 RBI, 2 runs
Lance Balstad- 2 for 4, RBI, run
Aaron Norland- 1 for 4, 2 RBI, run