EDITOR’S NOTE: The Jasper Quartz-siters, for many years now, have been swallowed up by the inexorable tide of history, where small-town high schools become folded into larger conglomerations. Which begs the question: Were they the Quartz-siters or the Quartzsiters? Over the years, they were spelled both ways.
Anyway, here’s to Jasper sports. In 1974, Jasper qualified for the first Minnesota state baseball competition in its history. The Globe is reprinting selected articles from great sports moments of the past. Today’s story, reprinted from the Daily Globe, celebrates the Quartz-siters’ 1974 baseball accomplishment.
BY BILL BROWER
LAKEFIELD (Special) -- The Jasper Quartz-siters broke a tie ball game with four big runs in the top of the seventh to down St. James 9-7 here in the Region 2 championship baseball contest. It is the first regional baseball title ever for a Quartz-siter team.
Jasper’s first game in the state tournament will come on Wednesday at 3 p.m. when they will meet the winner of Region 6. All games will be played at Midway Stadium in St. Paul.
St. James jumped to a 4-0 lead after three innings of play Friday and it looked like they were on their way. Big blow of the early going for the Saints was a two-run homer by Brian Holte in the first frame.
Jasper got back in the ball game with a three-run outburst in the top of the fourth, highlighted by a bases-loaded double off the bat of Steve Prunty. The fine junior athlete for Jasper connected for three hits and four RBIs in the game, getting on base all five times he appeared at the plate.
The two clubs headed into the final inning all knotted up at 5-5. After the first man went out, Bob Mead drew life on a St. James error to start the Quartz-siter uprising. Mike Prunty followed with a single as did brother Steve. Jim Hoyme drew life on another Saints error before Jerry Kuhlman delivered a bases-loaded double to send Jasper up 9-5.
St. James fought back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh before Kuhlman came in with the bases loaded to strike out the final Saints hitter.
Steve Prunty worked six and two-thirds innings for Jasper and was tough after the first inning when St. James nicked him for three hits and three runs. Prunty came on through the middle innings, retiring nine straight St. James hitters at one point. Prunty finished the game with 10 strikeouts.
“This has been a battling club all season,” said a happy coach Lyle Gillen. “Many times the boys have come on in the latter stages of a game to pull it out. This is perhaps the best Jasper ball club I’ve coached and I’m happy for the boys that they are getting the chance to participate in a state tournament.”