B-B-E baseball team heading to state

After three straight captivating performances in the Section 6A winner's bracket, the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa baseball team landed a spot in the state-qualifying championship series earlier this week.

Facing a red hot Parkers Prairie team that had blazed its way through the elimination bracket of the tournament, the Jaguars broke a 1-1 tie with three runs scored in the bottom of the sixth inning. The first of those three runs was on a wild pitch that brought Hayden Sobiech home, while the latter two were driven home on Brett DeRoo's fielder's choice.

Defensively in Tuesday's game, relief pitcher Tate DeKok pitched a gem across the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. In the top of the seventh, the Panthers drew back-to-back walks on one out before Luke Illies took the mound as the would-be closer. A quick fielder's choice grounder to second base and then an unassisted put out at third base by Casey Lenarz put the historic achievement in the bag: the Jaguars are state-bound! Final score: B-B-E 4 (South subsection No. 1 seed), Parkers Prairie 2 (North subsection No. 2 seed)

The Jaguars (13-11) have now won four straight postseason games by a total margin of just five runs.

The state tournament will be held next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, June 13-14 and 16. Other information is forthcoming at the newspaper's Jaguars Sports blog. The state quarterfinals will be hosted at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud on the 13th.

B-B-E's five-and-oh trip through sections continued last Thursday in Morris, the Jaguars overcame a 7-1 deficit against No. 4-seeded Upsala/Swanville Area to claim an 8-7 win on Tate DeKok's infield single that scored Ryan Jensen. This paired them up with No. 10-ranked and No. 2-seeded Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg that same evening.

After leading 4-1 against the Fighting Saints, the Jaguars settled back into a 5-5 tie before Luke Illies's game-winning two-out single that scored Braeden Michels handed them a 6-5 win.

On Monday this week at Marthaler Field at Minnewaska Area high school, the Jaguars faced three-time defending champion and No. 8-ranked New York Mills. The Eagles broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the top of the fourth. B-B-E cut the deficit in half in their next at bat and then took the lead with a three-run bottom of the fifth.

Hayden Sobiech scored the game-winning run on Ryan Jensen's sacrifice-fly for a 5-4 win.

After getting knocked around by Class 2A ranked teams Paynesville and Eden Valley-Watkins, the Central Minnesota Conference co-champions, the Jaguars are heading to the big show for the first time in school history.


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