St. Patrick finishes 2nd in Class C Amateur Baseball Tourney

St. Patrick won three games this past weekend before dropping their final game of the Class C State Tournament Monday, Sept. 7.
The Irish had their best finish in team history, finishing second in the tournament, losing only one game to Fairmont, 12-0 in seven innings at Springfield.
Union Hill also advanced to the final weekend of play, but were defeated by Young America, 6-0 Saturday, Sept. 5.
Here is a look at the St. Patrick and Union Hill games, courtesy of mnbaseball.org.
Young America 6, Union Hill 0
The Young America Cardinals rode a solid outing from Dillon Whittaker to a 6-0 win over the Union Hill Bulldogs.
Whittaker held the Bulldogs to a pair of singles over eight innings. The right-hander went eight innings, allowing three walks and striking out eight.
He pitched with the lead throughout. The Cardinals scored two in the bottom of the first on starter Joe Becker on a two-run Hunter Rickaby triple.
Becker settled in to throw zeroes until the fifth.
The Cardinals began to feel comfortable when Matt Mann singled in a run in the sixth on draftee reliever from the St. Benedict Saints, Jeremy Heitkamp.
In the seventh, another Bulldog error plated one Cardinal and an Isaac Hormann double plated the other.
Jacob Becker and Danny Beckius had a hit for the Bulldogs.
St. Patrick 16, Carver 4, 8 innings
Carver’s glass slipper shattered into a million pieces Saturday, Sept. 5 in the first inning in Milroy as St. Patrick took a sledgehammer to it with a 16-4, eight-inning win.
The Black Sox entered the Region 7C tournament as the No. 8 seed and won two elimination games to capture the No. 4 seed.
The Irish, which opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over Regal and a 10-1 win over Rochester, took advantage of two errors, four walks, three singles and wild pitch to score six runs in the first inning.
St. Patrick, which finished with 16 hits, kept hitting whoever trotted out to the mound.
Three Irish hitters had three hits in the game. Kyle Rhodus, Seth Ambroz and Dom DeLuca each had three hits. DeLuca drove in two runs and Rhodus one. Meanwhile Zak Endress drove in three runs, one on a bases-loaded walk and two on a single in the third. Bryce Simon drove in two runs in the eighth with a double down the right field line and Carver’s fourth error of the game gave the Irish a 16-3 lead.
St. Patrick 2, Bluffton 1
St. Patrick went about its business in workman-like fashion Sunday, Sept. 6 in Milroy to claim the first of the final four spots in the state tournament with a ho-hum 2-1 win over Bluffton.
St. Patrick started scoring the third time through the lineup in the fifth inning. Zak Endress hit a lead-off single and after a sacrifice bunt moved him to second, Jack Friedges came through with an RBI single. One batter later Kyle Rhodus singled to score Friedges for a 2-0 lead.
Bluffton responded in the next inning by collecting back-to-back singles from Cody Geiser and Jake Dykhoff. A back pick throw sailed away at first base to move both runners into scoring position. Justin Dykhoff came through with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1.
Phillip Garcia allowed one earned run on six hits. He walked one and struck out two. Joe Grote, a draftee from Faribault, threw the final two innings without allowing a run. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out two.
Bluffton had a chance in the top of the ninth for some more magic when Kyle Dykhoff led off with a walk. Kevin Tumberg walked with two outs but Grote got a strikeout to end the game.
Friedges and Endress each had two hits for the Irish.
St. Patrick 6, Young America 4
The Irish and Cardinals turned in a classic with St. Patrick securing a trip to the Class C championship game with a 6-4 victory.
After a throw to first with a runner on, Young America starting pitcher Josh Lenz reacted to something said from the Irish dugout and that set the tone the rest of the way.
St. Patrick responded with two runs in the bottom of the second inning after Seth Ambroz reached on an infield single, moved to second on a bunt and got to third on a Ryan Friedges single. Zak Endress hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Ambroz and Jace Westman drove in Friedges with a single.
The Cardinals put four runs across in the third inning. Brice Panning and Matt Mann hit back-to-back singles and Roch Whittaker walked to load the bases for Hunter Rickaby. He came through with a two-run single to tie the game. Cole Peters put Young America up 4-2 with a two-run single.
The Irish chased Lenz in the third inning after scoring three runs to draw the game to 4-3. Jordan Goracke, Kyle Rhodus and Matt Ambroz all singled to start the inning with Matt Ambroz driving in Goracke. After a double play and a walk, Friedges singled to score Matt Ambroz to tie the game 4-4. That brought in Christian Johnson, a draftee from Cologne to pitch for the Cardinals. Johnson threw eight shutout innings earlier in a 9-1 win over Bird Island where he struck out 11 and allowed five hits. Zak Endress singled to score Dom DeLuca and put St. Patrick up 5-4.
The Irish got another run in the fourth after Jack Friedges drew a lead-off walk and Goracke doubled to right field to score Friedges for a 6-4 lead.
Then Johnson got locked in. Johnson set down the side in order for the next three innings, striking out nine consecutive along the way. He threw 214 pitches on the day and allowed just three hits against the St. Patrick
Less flashy, though just as effective, Joe Grote, a draftee from Faribault came on in relief of starter Christian Medick with two outs in the third inning, to throw 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out four.
The eighth got chaotic after two plays at first base involved slight collisions. Following the second play, Young America shortstop Blake Pistulka got ejected and later a Young America fan or fans got ejected as well for abusive language toward the umpire.
Fairmont 12, St. Patrick 0, 7 innings
The wait is over.
Fairmont’s Adam Schmidt has wanted another crack at the Class C state title since 2012. The town of Fairmont has waited for a title since 1959 and after Monday no one has to wait anymore in Fairmont.
The Martins claimed the 2020 Class C state title Monday in Springfield with a 12-0, seven-inning victory over St. Patrick in Springfield.
The last time Fairmont appeared in the state title game came in 2012 against Maple Lake, a game the Martins lost 6-4 to Maple Lake, despite holding a lead.
The Martins jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Levi Becker singled in Derek Shoen with two outs. Fairmont added to the lead in the second inning with three runs when Jack Waletich drove in two runs with a single and a ground out from Schoen added another run.
As steady as the sprinkles fell, the Martins kept hitting. In the third inning, a leadoff double from Levi Becker turned into a run when Adam Schmidt collected his second hit of the game.
That chased Irish starter Josh Simon, who gave up five runs on 10 hits.
Becker added a two-run triple in the fourth inning as part of a four-run inning to extend the lead to 8-0. Jon Traetow added an RBI single prior to Becker’s third hit of the game. Tyler Tennyson added to the lead with an RBI single to score Becker to make it 9-0.
Fairmont added three more runs in the fifth to push the lead to 12-0. Blake Crawmer hit a leadoff single and Luke Becker added a single, his third of the game, to start the threat. A throwing error scored one and a ground out added the second run before an error allowed another run to score.
Ross Ackerman, a draftee from Windom, got the win after throwing six shutout innings. He allowed three hits, walked none and struck out four.
Luke Becker flew in from Kentucky to play in the tournament, arriving about 10 minutes prior to the Martins’ game against Jordan Saturday at noon. He earned MVP honors after going 11-for-21 with 10 runs, four RBIs and three stolen bases. He had three hits and three runs against the Irish.
St. Patrick’s second-place finish serves as the team’s best showing in a state tournament.
Class C
All Tournament Team
St. Patricik’s Jordan Goracke, Matt Ambroz, and Jack Friedges were selected to the All Tournament Team.
Goracke hit .429 for the tourney, finishing with nine hits, four runs scored and three RBI in 21 at bats.
Ambroz batted .333 with eight hits, six RBI, four runs scored and a home run in 24 at bats.
Friedges hit .350 with seven hits, 10 runs scored, two RBI and a double in 20 at bats.

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