Elrosa Saints win state opener
Saints advance to Sweet 16 in amateur baseball tournament
For the third time in team history, the Elrosa Saints amateur baseball team is heading to the Sweet 16 round of the Class C state tournament. In the Round of 32 at state, Elrosa beat Blue Earth by a 1-0 score on Saturday, August 27 in Hutchinson to improve to 19-14 overall. The Pirates, who were competing in their 14th straight trip to the state tournament, beat St. Joe 6-0 in the opening round of state last weekend. They had won 12 of their last 14 games and entered the state tournament with close to 30 wins. As of July 26, Blue Earth had a record of 22-3.
A key reason behind Elrosa's win was the outstanding pitching of Ethan Vogt, who went the distance while firing a three-hit shut out. Following the game he was quick to praise his defense.
"We have played a lot of ball together this year. We have a lot of trust in one another. The team has a nice mix of veterans who have been here many times and new guys who bring a lot of talent to the dugout."
Elrosa scored their lone run in the first inning on an infield RBI-single by Cody Eichers. While the Pirates were trying to cut down Eichers at first base, Matt Middendorf scored from second base while beating a put out throw from first at the plate.
Next for the Saints: the Sweet 16 when they face Plato on Saturday, September 3 at 5 p.m. at the Dassel ball park. It will be no small task, as Plato is the defending state champion. In the latest Class C state rankings I can find, Plato was ranked number one. (Although Blue Earth was ranked number four in the same poll.)