A 6-1 loss in the Section 6AA Championship ended the Pierz baseball team’s chances at a trip to state, Thursday.
Albany instead advanced to state with the win over the Pioneers, leading the game wire-to-wire.
It appeared to be a pitcher’s duel early on, as neither team was able to get any runs in the first three innings, but the Huskies smashed a two-run homer in the fourth, and added another home run in the top of the seventh to add some insurance.
Pierz’ lone run came in the bottom of the sixth, when pinch runner Andy Winscher scored when he caused the Albany pitcher to balk.
Chandler Doucette had three hits to lead the Pioneers offense.
Strong outings on the mound helped propel the Pioneers to the championship.
It started with a 2-0 win over Foley, June 4. Jeremy Bingesser went the distance, allowing just one Foley hit and striking out six.
Offensively, Kamden Happke and Kyle Welle each drove in runs scored by Ryan Stuckmayer and Chandler Doucette, respectively.
Stuckmayer had the only other Pioneers hit in the pitcher’s duel.
The Pioneers were on the losing end of another pitcher’s duel, Monday, as the Albany Huskies shutout Pierz, 1-0.
Senior Noah Cekalla was strong on the mound, allowing just one run in the bottom of the third, and five hits overall.
However, Pierz was only able to muster three hits in the contest (from Bingesser, Stuckmayer and Happke).
This placed the Pioneers into the loser’s bracket, and an elimination game against St. Cloud Cathedral, Tuesday.
The Pierz offense found its footing in the third, scoring once, and then exploded for five runs in the fourth, going on to a 10-2 victory over the Crusaders.
Pitching was again strong, as senior Jonah Prokott allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits in a complete game.
On offense, Kolten Happke drove in three runs and scored twice for the Pioneers. Welle and Cekalla had two hits each, and Welle scored twice along with Doucette. Stuckmayer drove in three runs.
The Royalton Royals were eliminated from the Section 6AA proceedings after a 7-4 loss to Annandale, June 4.
The Central Minnesota Conference Champions finished the season 17-6. The Royals graduate six seniors: Zack Cekalla, Grayson Suska, Nathan Kolbo, Brady Brezinka, Brady Petron and Carter Petron.
Pierz’ season ends at 17-8. The Pioneers graduate nine seniors: Welle, Stuckmayer, Cekalla, Kolten and Kamden Happke, Michael Leidenfrost, Ross Boser, Doucette and Prokott.