The final two games of Edina High’s 2019 season were virtually polar opposites last week.
In a 5-2 Section 2AAAA playoff win over Prior Lake June 3, the Hornets could do no wrong. Two nights later, in the finals against Lake Conference rival Eden Prairie, very little went right for the Hornets in a 9-0 defeat.
“We played one of our better games against Prior Lake,” Edina head coach Carter Freeman said. “Against Eden Prairie, we ran out of gas.”
The tournament grind was tough for the Hornets who played six section games in 10 days, winning four of them and losing two.
“I couldn’t ask for more than our guys gave this season,” Freeman said. “This was one of the most enjoyable years I have had as a coach, due to the players, our coaching staff and the parents. We had great leadership from our four captains - Drew and Cam Schmidt and Matthew and Andrew Enck.”
The Enck boys are twins, while the Schmidts are triplets along with their brother Quinn, who played for the Hornets this season.
“You could say the brotherhood on our team was both figurative and literal,” Freeman said. The chemistry in the ranks helped the Hornets finish the season 16-9 overall.
The Hornets pulled together against Prior Lake to avenge their only section tournament loss to that point. They got to Prior Lake starter A.J. Lattery, a University of Oregon recruit, for eight hits and four earned runs in his five innings.
“We beat a good pitcher,” Freeman said. “And Noah Meffert pitched a great game for us.”
Edina’s junior righthander was rock solid, throwing a seven-hitter against one of the metro area’s best lineups.
Matthew Enck and Ryan Gallaher each went two-for-three at the plate to lead Edina’s offense. Andrew Enck, Lucas Flemming, Cam Schmidt and Drew Schmidt each added a hit.
In the game against Eden Prairie, Edina’s bats produced only three hits.
“Give credit to their pitcher [Tyson Stritesky],” Freeman said. “He did a good job of keeping us off balance.”
Stritesky used a curveball effectively as well as a spinning changeup. And he was fast when he had to be.
The loss was an uncharacteristic ending to a season that was otherwise very solid.
Many of the varsity players will go right from the high school team to the American Legion season, hoping to build on the chemistry they enjoyed this spring.
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