If someone asked for the scores of Princeton’s three baseball games last week you could answer that it was 8-3 and be right for all three games.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, they were on the losing side in each game.
In a makeup game at Milaca on Monday that was 3-3 after three innings, the Wolves scored five in the fourth inning for the win.
The next day at Princeton Hermantown scored eight runs in the first inning and coasted to a section victory. And on Thursday at Lindstrom in a makeup game, the Tigers were tied at 2-2 in the second inning before losing to Chisago Lakes.
The Tigers (6-13, 4-8 in the Mississippi 8) will open Section 7AAA play next Tuesday on the road, likely as the No. 6 seed in the double-elimination tournament. Win or lose, they’ll play again on Thursday at the field of the higher seed.
The final three days of the tournament will be held June 1, 4 and 5 at Solheim Veterans Field.
As of Monday this week Grand Rapids was No. 1 in the section, Chisago Lakes No. 2 and Hermantown No. 3. One of Princeton’s six wins came over Grand Rapids and another was over Chisago Lakes early in April.
It was partially a case of missed opportunities for the Tigers as they left 10 runners on base.
“You’ve got to give Milaca credit, they hit the ball well,” said Princeton coach Jordan Neubauer. “But we just didn’t have any clutch hitting.”
Princeton twice loaded the bases without scoring and also had a couple base running errors that were costly, Neubauer said.
Milaca scored three runs in the first inning but Princeton tied it with three in the third inning, Tim Wesely and Tyler Peterson driving in runs. But that was it for the Tiger offense.
Peterson, Nick Stenoien and Dylan Cook each had two hits for the Tigers.
Peterson (L) 3 IP, 11 H, R-ER 8-6, 1 BB, 1 SO; Case 2 IP, 0 H, 2 SO; House 1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB. Stenoien 2-2, R; Wesely 4-1, R, RBI; Peterson 2-2, RBI; House 4-1; Cook 3-2, R.
Hermantown, with the aid of five walks and three errors, scored eight runs in the first inning.
Reid St. George relieved for Princeton, pitched seven innings, gave up only an unearned run, issued no walks and struck out four.
“He pitched really well,” Neubauer said, “but the damage was done.”
The Tigers didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning but put together a three-run seventh inning that ended with a hard-hit ball that turned into a double play.
Shackle (L) 0 IP, 1 H, R-ER 7-4, 5 BB; St. George 7 IP 4 H, R-ER 1-0, 4 SO. Stenoien 2-1; Chase 3-1; Wesely R; Peterson 3-1, R, RBI; House 3-1, R; Cook RBI.
The Wildcats (8-9, 5-7 in the M8) had a three-run second inning that broke a 2-2 tie and also scored three times in the fifth inning.
Once again Princeton left 10 runners on base, Chisago Lakes making four errors to add to Princeton’s six hits and six walks.
“They used a couple soft-tossing lefties and we were way out in front on our swings,” Neubauer said. “We had our opportunities but just didn’t get hits when we needed them.”
With some games remaining this week the Mississippi 8 standings look like this: St. Michael-Albertville 12-1, St. Francis 9-2, Buffalo 8-4, Monticello 8-5, Rogers 7-6, Chisago Lakes 5-7, Big Lake 5-7, PRINCETON 4-8, Cambridge-Isanti 3-9, North Branch 0-12.
Wesely (L) 2 IP, 5 H, R-ER 5-5, 3 BB; Scheffel 2 2/3 IP, 6 H, R-ER 3-3,1 BB, 2 SO; Krone 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, R-ER 0-0, 1BB, 1 SO. Wesely 4-2, RBI; Peterson 4-1, R; Chase 2-1, RBI; Drews R; Scheffel 2-1; Case 3-1, R; Cook SB.