Getting “the” win necessary to advance, Isanti held off top-seed Blaine 4-2 when the Section 8B amateur baseball tournament resumed Aug. 8 in Forest Lake. The Redbirds next head to Moorhead this weekend for the Class B Super Sections level of the playoffs.
Dallas Nelson tossed the first seven innings, allowing two runs while scattering eight hits and striking out four Fusion batters. Joe Ramberg came on to throw hitless ball the final two innings, striking out one, to get the save.
“In the bottom of the seventh, I could see Dallas was tiring a bit. There were runners on, and Blaine’s tough No. 4 hitter Matt Mossey was coming to the plate,” recalled Isanti manager Steve Allen. “I was talking to Dallas about switching at that time, but Dallas said, ‘I can take him.’ And he got Mossey out on a grounder to short, then we turned things over to Joe in the eighth when Blaine began with two left-handed hitters.”
Isanti pocketed all its runs in the third inning to take the early lead on the Fusion. Brian Schultz and B.J. Samuelson began the inning with base hits, then Packy Lind bunted both runners forward. Jake Maros was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Kyle Johnson made Blaine pay for that move by ripping a two-run double down the left-field line to plate two runs. A Tyler Schaff single scored Maros, then Johnson came home on Wyatt Soderquist’s fielder’s choice. Schaff and Schultz both had two of the Redbirds’ eight hits in the game.
• Friday night in Forest Lake, Coon Rapids pulled away late to defeat Blaine 12-2 in the final losers’ bracket game of the 8B tourney. On Saturday afternoon, the Redbirds of Coon Rapids faced off against Isanti to determine seed position for Super Sections.
Coon Rapids took Game 1 4-3 in 11 innings, scoring the game-winner on a walk, sac bunt and base hit. Maros gave Isanti a 2-0 lead when he bombed a 380-foot two-run homer to left-center in the bottom of the sixth. CR tied it in the seventh and went up 3-2 in the eighth, but Isanti knotted the game in the bottom of the eighth when Soderquist scored after doubling.
Adam West threw the first 6.3 innings for the ‘Birds, striking out two while allowing seven hits. Brent Burman went the final 4.6 innings, giving up four hits while tossing four Ks.
“Both Adam and Brent pitched very well for us,” said Coach Allen. “We had our chances to win in the late innings but just couldn’t get the big hit.”
Coon Rapids secured the No. 1 seed out of the section by following with a 10-0 win in Game 2, having their hitting shoes on against Isanti pitchers Cole Bakke, Jake Johnson and Matt Duong. Schultz struck out the side in the seventh. CR’s Dan Skog and Mark Lundholm stymied the Redbird bats by allowing just four hits in the nightcap.
Moorhead Super Sections
Isanti (23-11) will take on the host Moorhead Brewers (27-4) in the 6 p.m. game at Jack Williams Stadium to open the Super Section pod tourney on Friday, Aug. 16. The Brewers blanked the Twin Port North Stars 10-0 in the 6B finals on Sunday as Tanner Dahl threw a no-hitter.
A win would have the Redbirds play in the 4 p.m. Saturday game against either the Shakopee Indians or the Champlin Logators (another Metro Minnny team). A loss would send them to the 1 p.m. losers’ bracket game on Saturday. The finals will be 12 p.m. on Sunday in Moorhead (with a second seeding game to follow, if necessary).
The two surviving teams out of that Super Section advance to the Class B State tournament which begins Aug. 24-25 in Maple Lake and Howard Lake. Coon Rapids is in the Victoria Super Section hosted by the defending “B” champs, the Victoria Vics.Austin and Marshall are also hosting Super Section games this coming weekend.