The Woodwater baseball team still has a game remaining in pool play, but advanced to the championship bracket of the Senior Class Salute at CHS Field in St. Paul.
Woodwater, a team of players from Woodbury and Stillwater, cruised to a 13-2 victory over Waconia in five innings on Sunday, July 26. Woodwater was scheduled to close out pool play with a game against winless Metro East (0-2) on Thursday, July 30.
As the winner of Pool 3, Woodwater (2-0) will face Pool 2 winner Osseo/Totino-Grace (3-0) in the championship bracket quarterfinals on Friday, July 31 at 8 p.m.
If Stillwater advances to the semifinals, that game will take place on Saturday at 8 p.m. The Senior Class Salute championship game will take place on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“The guys are really focused on it,” said Stillwater coach Mike Parker, who serves as this team’s co-coach with Woodbury’s Kevin McDermott. “CHS Field is in perfect shape and the kids come out there and really get after it. Even without a lot of time together or coaching, they’ve been in our programs for three years now most of them, so it hasn’t been a lot of teaching that has to be done with these guys.”
Woodwater overcame a sluggish start against Waconia, which scored twice off starter Joe Horn through two innings. Matt Moore took over in the third and Waconia promptly loaded the bases with on a walk, hit batter and base hit with nobody out.
Moore worked out of that bases-loaded jam without allowing a run and retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth to earn the victory. He finished with five strikeouts.
“He retired nine in a row,” Parker said.
Jon Koehn rapped four hits, including two doubles and a triple, to drive in five runs and continue his torrid hitting pace this summer. Koehn provided one of the big blows in Woodwater’s seven-run third inning with a three-run double and is batting 5 for 8 in the tourney.
Nick Peterson and Moore also contributed two hits apiece and each player has four hits through two games in the Senior Class Salute. Anders Thorager, Eric Stack, Luke Cullen and Tyson Fredkove also added a hit each.
Fredkove sparked Woodwater’s rally in the third with a pinch hit single with one out.
“He had a big hit up the middle that really started that third inning,” Parker said. “That got the whole thing going.”
Mounds View 6, Stillwater 4
Stillwater Red wrapped up its East Metro Summer League Schedule with a 6-4 loss at Mounds View on Wednesday, July 29. The Ponies still earned the No. 2 seed for the eight-team league tournament, which begins with a quarterfinal match-up against Hastings on Friday at Stillwater Area High School. Game time is 6 p.m.
If Stillwater advances, it would also host the semifinal game on Saturday at 10 a.m. The EMSL championship game will take place at the field of higher seed on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Mounds View took advantage of some defensive miscues while jumping out to a 6-0 lead against the Ponies, who split a doubleheader in the season opener on June 30. Stillwater climbed back with four runs in the fifth inning, but was shut down the rest of the way.
“We made it competitive, but couldn’t get some runs back,” Parker said.
Austin Buck threw well for the Ponies with three scoreless innings to close out the game, allowing just two hits and finishing with one strikeout.
Hastings 1, Stillwater 0
It was a sluggish performance for the Ponies, who fell to Hastings 1-0 on Stillwater’s Senior Night at SAHS.
“We just never really got into it,” Parker said. “I don’t know if we were not quite as focused, but we struck out 11 times. I don’t know the name of their pitcher, but he really shut us down.”
A solo home run in the fourth inning was the only scoring required for Hastings, which as the No. 7 seed will return to SAHS for the league quarterfinals on July 31.
Stillwater used several pitchers in the game, but just couldn’t get the bats going.
“We just didn’t put the ball in play enough,” Parker said. “We had three chances with guys on second and third and just couldn’t get them in. There’s games like that.”
• The postgame included an informal banquet honoring the Stillwater players who had their senior high school seasons wiped out by COVID-19.
“This whole year is a pretty surreal deal,” Parker said. “It was just a senior banquet and part of it was a bit somber talking about the season that could have been and making sure the guys knew how much they had done for the program. It was OK to feel sad or upset that they didn’t get to play and represent their school and see what kind of team they could have been.”
The Sean Schoonmaker Award, which goes to the player(s) who best exemplifies academic achievement, positive attitude and commitment to team play, was presented to Tyson Fredkove, Jack Sandquist and Eric Stack. The award is named in honor of the former Stillwater second baseman who died in a car accident 2011, following his freshman year at UW-La Crosse. Schoonmaker was a member of Stillwater’s state tournament team in 2010. The awards were presented by Schoonmaker’s parents, Steve and Connie.
Stillwater 12, Sibley 1
The Ponies defeated Sibley 12-1 in a EMSL game on Thursday, July 23 at SAHS.
The Stillwater White team has also enjoyed a successful summer and received the fourth seed for the league tournament. Stillwater White enters the postseason with a 9-4 record against other varsity teams and is 16-4 overall. The team will host fifth-seeded East Ridge in a quarterfinal game on Friday, July 31 at 4 p.m.
The Stillwater Black (JV) squad earned the top seed for its postseason tournament after posting a 16-2 record this summer. Stillwater Black will face the winner of Tartan and Irondale on the B Field at SAHS on Friday, July 31 at 6 p.m.
• Stillwater Red will have one final tournament this summer while competing in the Minnetonka 19U Tournament next week. Stillwater, which is guaranteed four games, opens that 16-team tourney by hosting Rogers in a first-round game on Tuesday, Aug. 4.