Playing in the first round of the Minnesota Class C amateur baseball tournament, Isanti played stellar defense while downing Lake Henry 4-1 on Saturday, Aug. 20 in Glencoe.
Veteran hurler Wade Reichmann led the way by scattering six hits over eight innings, striking out nine. Ryan Bruns, an Isanti draftee from Champlin, earned the save by allowing just one hit and striking out one in the ninth.
“Wade was outstanding again for us,” said Isanti skipper Steve Allen. “He picked off a runner at second base in the second inning, then in the fifth Lake Henry tried a squeeze play. Wade figured out what was going on and threw a pitch-out to (catcher) Kyle Johnson who easily tagged out the runner at the plate.”
The Redbirds’ team defense was a huge highlight, said Manager Allen. Johnson picked off a straying Laker at first base in the first inning. With a man on third in the third, Packy Lind made a diving stop amid a cloud of dust and gunned the throw to Reichmann covering at first to get the final out of the inning. Lind also made a bare-handed stop of a bounding ball up the middle to keep a runner from scoring from second later in the game. Wyatt Soderquist added a nice running catch in foul territory to end another Laker threat.
Isanti got on the scoreboard in the second inning when Tyler Schaff singled, Soderquist got an infield hit, and Schaff later scored on a booted grounder off the bat of B.J. Samuelson. Johnson then supplied big insurance with a three-run homer in the seventh, scoring Soderquist and Eric Rysdam ahead of him.
Schaff, Soderquist and Matt Duong all had two hits in the State opener. Lead-off man Samuelson reached base four of his five at-bats including hitting a double.
The Class C State is now down to 16 teams after last weekend. The Redbirds (29-7) will next face Sacred Heart at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 back in Glencoe. The winner stays alive to get into the double-elimination format while the losing team has its season ended.
Sacred Heart (26-6) opened State with a 4-2 win over Pelican Rapids. The Saints, State tourney entrants the past four summers, are led by Jeremy Hinderks who has belted 16 homers this season and pitched a complete game last Saturday.
The Isanti/Sacred Heart winner will take on the winner between Hayfield and Miltona 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28 in Brownton. In the other half of the brackets, Big Lake out of Isanti’s Region 1C stayed alive with a 5-3 win over Spring Hill.