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Section 2AAA baseball: In bizarre finish, Trojans beat Faribault 2-1 and advance

NEW ULM -- In a bizarre ending, the Worthington Trojans defeated Faribault 2-1 Wednesday night in the elimination bracket of the Section 2AAA baseball tournament. The score was tied 1-1 when the Falcons loaded the bases with one out against WHS p...

 

 

NEW ULM -- In a bizarre ending, the Worthington Trojans defeated Faribault 2-1 Wednesday night in the elimination bracket of the Section 2AAA baseball tournament.

The score was tied 1-1 when the Falcons loaded the bases with one out against WHS pitcher Brayden Donkersloot. That’s when cleanup hitter Kipp Bonde sent a fly ball to right-center field that was caught by the Trojans’ Austin Svalland, who threw home when the runner on third tagged. The strong throw was up the line and catcher Tommy Lais collided with the runner and tagged him for the final out. Faribault coaches claimed interference, but after a short meeting the play was declared legal.

“Austin caught the ball mid-run, and he just turned. And it was kind of amazing the way he made such a strong throw,” said WHS head coach Brian Iverson. “He threw an absolute perfect ball. It was really an amazing throw.”

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The Trojans’ dramatic win allowed them to advance to Saturday to play Marshall. Game time is 12:30 p.m. at the same site of Wednesday’s game -- Johnson Park in New Ulm.

“Total excitement. They competed, they were in the game, they had no quit in ‘em tonight,” Iverson said.

Donkersloot started and went the distance. He didn’t walk a batter until the sixth inning and allowed just six hits in all, finishing with four walks and seven strikeouts.

Trailing 1-0 in the third inning, Worthington scored in the bottom of the inning after a lead-off double by Svalland down the left-field line and a one-out RBI ground out by Turner Rogers.

In the bottom of the sixth with two outs, Lais reached first base after striking out as the pitch bounced past the Faribault catcher. Later, upon stealing second base, he continued around third and to the plate when throws to second and third missed the mark.

In the top of the seventh, Donkersloot walked the leadoff batter, which brought up the top of the batting order. The next hitter successfully bunted the runner to second, the next batter was intentionally walked, and -- still with one out -- another walk followed to load the sacks. That’s when Bonde hit what became a game-ending double-play fly ball to Svalland.

Worthington, which lost its tournament opener 8-2 to Mankato West on Saturday, is the sixth-seeded team in the section. Faribault was seeded seventh.

Marshall is the No. 4 seed.

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The Trojans had just three hits in Wednesday’s game but had other chances to score. In the second inning they loaded the bases with nobody out but failed to get a run home. Reynaldo Paniagua hit a ball sharply to pitcher Joe Palmer, who started a double-play home to first. Donkersloot then struck out to end the threat.

But the Trojans had their own fine moments in the field, and not just in the seventh inning. Faribault had runners on second and third in the fourth inning, but the threat ended with a weak line drive out, and an infield ground out.

Faribault 010 000 0 -- 1 6 2

Worthington 001 001 x -- 2 3 1

 

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