The Prior Lake Jays were slotted for an elimination game at Burnsville Alimagnet Park on Thursday August 10 needing a win to remain alive in the 2017 Section 3B Playoffs. Following a series win 2-0 versus Victoria and competing with top seed Chanhassen losing 2-1 in Series 2, the Jays appear prepared taking on the Burnsville Bobcats. The Bobcats won 5-3 & 8-7 in the regular season with the Jays relenting early leads. The 2 wins over the PL Jays were 1/2 of Burnsvilles regular season Section win tally in the competitive Section 3B of MBA Class B.
Alimagnet Park diamond is still recovering from a botched re-seeding but played well with an early afternoon shower softening the surface. The PL Jays also traveled with PA Announcer Brian Kelly and packed a cooler to provide limited concessions but the PA system had a defective microphone shorting out a plan to provide an entertaining evening for the loyal Jays following that had supported the team through the 2017 integration of 11 new players to the roster. Compounding the Jays plan to get to a Friday State Qualifier/Elimination game at Chaska, 2nd year Jays pitcher Lawson Zenner reported to Game 3 of the Chanhassen Series 2 with soreness in his back. With the reliable Zenner on the shelf, the Jays turned to Matt Cady who as a 1st year Jay provided reliable innings and a key to the more competitive squad in 2017.
Secondbaseman Jeff Butler tallied the 1st Jays hit ripping a ball to rightfield on an 0-2 count to Bobcats pitcher Luke Chinn. Tommy Keating followed with a 2 out single to left but the runners stranded at 1st and 2nd on a groundout by 3rd basebman Brandt Broderick. Following the scoreless 1st by the visiting Jays, Cady toed the rubber but while around the zone, he was unable to throw strikes walking the bases loaded before recording an out. After a 1 out single to Bobcats rightfielder Mike Schiller and flyout to center by DH John Means, the 8th batter catcher Zach Harazin ripped an RBI single to left with Rob Frederick making the throw to Brandt Broderick cutting down the runner at 3rd and a 4-0 Bobcats lead after the 1st.
In the Jays 2nd inning, the Jays tallied hits by firstbaseman Scott Geisler and shortstop Corey Goodwin and Adam Cress grounded into a 5-4-3 doubleplay to end the Jays 2nd. The Bobcats were not done and following consecutive walks issued by Cady, Sam Schlachter got the call to slow down the Bobcats. With 2 on, Schlachter got a quick out on a sacrifice fly that advanced the runners to 2nd and 3rd before a single to right by 2nd baseman Matt Trocke cleared the bases and a 6-0 lead. Dan Ellefson singled to left scoring on a deep drive to leftcenter by Brian Vanderwoude. Schiller ripped a 1 out sacrifice fly to center before 2 walksand a Cooper Maas RBI single completed the scoring on a groudout by Tyler Hill. The 5 run inning shocked the Jays faithful and quiet of a park lacking public address would provide a strange backdrop as the game proceeded.
In the 3rd inning Mike Edlefsen hit a 2 out single but was stranded. The Jays bagged 2 hits in the 4th by Rob Frederick and Corey Goodwin who also were stranded on base. On the hill Schlachter settled and would end up tossing scoreless innings 3-7 (5 total scoreless). The Jays, fighting from a deep hole were not able to sustain offense and would strand 10 runners on the day.
The Jays struggles at the plate ended in the 7th with Butler reaching on fielders choice and an Edlefsen single, Tommy Keating blasted a Cooper Maas 2-2 offering deep to left center for a 3 run homer. The rally was cut short after a walk to 3rd baseman Broderick, Mitch McBeain was called out on strikes to end the inning. The Jays offense collected walks to Jimmy Cosgrove and Tyler Buescher in the 8th but they were stranded. Brandt Broderick came in releif pitching the 8th inning allowing 2 leadoff hits before line outs to left, center and left ended the inning. A 1-2-3 9th inning by the Jays completed the game as a 9-3 loss for PL. Keating (2-5 run, HR, 3RBI), Goodwin (2-4), Geisler (2-3) and Edlefsen (2-5, run, SB) led Jays hitters. Burnsvilles win led to an elimination game Friday where they would compete early but get dropped at Chaska 9-1.
The Jays would wind up with a 3-3 playoff record in Section 3B and were the lone team able to defeat Chanhassen who went 3-1 enroute to the 2017 Section 3B Championship. Eagan finished as #2 seed from Section playoffs and Chaska qualified for the State Class B Tournament winning 1 game VS Burnsville Friday 8/11 and came back to knock off Shakopee for #3 seed from the Section while Shakopee finished #4.
Chanhassen, Eagan, Chaska and Shakopee will represent Section 3B at the 2017 MBA Class B State Championship Tournament hosted by Hamburg, Green Isle and Norwood. Good Luck to 3B reps as well Thanks PL and visiting fans for supporting the PL Jays in 2017. A season wrap will post in coming weeks. SUPPORT MBA TOWNBALL!