An 0-3 start in the Metro Minny League is in the rear view window now as the Champlin LoGators won their fourth straight league game July 17 in a 3-0 shutout over the Class B fourth-ranked Blaine Fusion.
The Fusion (10-4-1 overall, 5-1 league) were undefeated in the Metro Minny before a visit to Noble Sports Park, where the LoGators (14-6, 5-3) used timely hitting and stellar pitching to score the upset.
Jerry Gooley, who has been dominant on the mound all season, finished with 10 strikeouts in eight innings. His only blemishes on the night were five hits and a hit batter. Sam Riola earned the save with two strikeouts in the ninth, allowing just one hit.
Champlin didn’t have an easy time getting to Blaine starter Davis Bryan, but they made opportunities count. The LoGators had seven hits, but they only stranded two runners in scoring position.
The first run came with two outs in the second. Corbin Matasovsky was hit by a pitch with two outs, and he reached second on a wild pitch. Derek Heldman (2-for-4) then singled to center field to bring Matasovsky home.
Gooley allowed a two-out single and another runner reached on an error in the fourth, but he struck out Carter McLaughlin to end the threat.
The LoGators rewarded him with another run in the bottom of the fourth.
Derek Wilson hit a ball to left-center that fell in front of a diving attempt. Wilson kept running full speed and easily reached second base with a double.
Josh Peterson then sacrificed Wilson to third with a bunt, and Matasovsky singled to center field to bring home Wilson and make it 2-0 Champlin.
Gooley allowed a single and hit a batter with one out in the seventh, but he got out of that jam by inducing a 4-6-3 double play.
Once again, he was rewarded with an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh.
Riola hit a rope over the right fielder that one hopped off the fence. Riola sprinted into third base for a triple, and Reid Conlee singled to left field to bring him home and make it 3-0.
Gooley’s last inning in the eighth was another one where he needed to get out of a jam. He allowed a one-out single to center and a bunt single to first base. He was able to get a grounder for Fielder’s choice and a popup to end the inning.
Riola gave up a single to start the ninth, but he struck out the next batter and finished the save with a strikeout later in the inning.
Gooley is now 4-0 this season and has allowed just one earned run on 15 hits, four walks and two hit batters in 30 innings, striking out 34. Riola earned his second save of the season. He has nine strikeouts in six innings.
Heldman’s two hits against Blaine were the first of the season.
The LoGators also played Centennial on Sunday and won 12-5 to move to 5-3 in the Metro Minny League. They played Forest Lake on July 21 and Anoka on July 22.
Champlin 14, St. Michael 0
Champlin belted out 14 hits in a 14-0 shellacking of St. Michael in seven innings on July 15.
The LoGators scored four times in the first inning and added nine more runs in the second. The final run came in the sixth.
Jack Puder, Josh Tyler, Bryce Nelson, Matt Marek, Conlee, Peterson and Wilson all finished with two RBIs. Ryan Bruns and Jon Koenig added RBIs.
Riola finished 3-for-5 with a double and three runs scored. Koenig was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, and Nelson was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Bruns added two runs, and Conlee, Marek, Peterson, Puder and Wilson also scored runs.
Charlie Hutchinson earned the win on the mound. He allowed five hits and a walk in five innings, striking out 10. Koenig stuck out one in one inning, and Riola struck out three in one inning.