In a back and forth contest the St. Patrick Irish defeated the Prior Lake Mudcats 6-5 to gain the first berth out of Region 3C. Now the Mudcats will face CannonFalls at Cannon Falls on Friday August 12th at 8:00 PM.
The Mudcats started the scoring early with a run in the first. Mason Holmquist singled and went to second on a groundout by Noah Rezac. With two outs, Nick Reed singled in Holmquist for a 1-0 lead. In the top of the third, Ryan Rose singled with two outs. Reed laced a double to center to score Rose for a 2-0 lead.
St. Patrick answered back in the fourth. A leadoff walk to Matt Ambroz from pitcher Ben Morrison. Jeff Bjerke then hit a home run to right center to tie the game. St. Patrick broke the tie with a lead off home run by Josh Simon in the fifth.
In the bottom of the seventh inning with St. Patrick leading 3-2. Seth Ambroz led off by reaching on an error, went to second on a walk to Josh Simon off reliever Sean Greywitt, who had come on to start the seventh. Matt Ambroz sacrificed them over to second and third. Bjerke was intentionally walked. Dom Deluca delivered a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 4-2.
In the top of the eighth, Nick Reed led off with a double off of reliever Bill Dunker, Brad Schoenrock ran for him. With one out, Casey Johnson singled, Schoenrock to third. Justin Schliep pinch hit for Tony Adderley. Schliep crushed a three run home run to left field to give the Mudcats a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Matt Pexa led off with a single. Wade Schutnecht sacrificed him to second. Seth Ambroz grounded out, Pexa to third. Josh Simon bounced a single through the hole on the left side and the game was tied. Matt Ambroz singled. Mike Borgert-Poepping relieved Greywitt. Jeff Bjerke then singled to right scoring Simon for a 6-5 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Noah Rezac doubled with one out. Ryan Rose struck out. Nick Reed was intentionally walked. But Jake Lehrer hard grounder to short was the third out and St. Patrick had earned the first State Tournament bid in Region 3C.
Prior Lake 5 12 3
St. Patrick 6 11 1
Ben Morrison, Greywitt(7), Borget-Poepping(8) and Ryan Rose
Josh Simon, Dunker(7) and Matt Pexa
Umpires- HP Hank Hengtes, Bases Jeff Schmitt