Townball Playoffs: Mudcats ring bell in Faribault for 2020 MBA “C” slot

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The MBA Region 3C playoff elimination/qualifier game at Faribault Bell Field Thursday, August 13, 2020, would propel the winner to an MBA 2020 Class “C” Tournament slot with both squads in a corner with the loser eliminated.

The Mudcats hoped to repeat their 2019 State Tourney trip while the host Lakers made it in 2017 & ’18 and sought a return to the 48 team field of teams in Springfield and Milroy.  The ‘Cats were sent to the 3C losers bracket on a 5-4 loss to New Prague after beating St Benedict 5-4 in game 1 of playoffs 2020. Faribault was clipped 11-1 to Union Hill and rebounded in the losers bracket 4-3 over Shakopee Coyote and hoped to clinch a bid over the visiting Mudcats.  Both teams had strong 2020 regular seasons with the Lakers at 6-3 and Mudcats posting a 7-2 regular season.

For the Mudcats, hopes were tested as after Jonny Houston scored on an error in the 1st inning, the Lakers answered with 3 runs on a Mudcats error, 3 hits and a walk-off PL starting PL pitcher Alex Wattermann for the 3-1 advantage to Faribault after 1 complete.

After the 1st, the ‘Cats answered with 5 runs in the top of the 2nd, put the pedal down, and would not look back from a 6-3 score after 2 complete taking advantage of 4 Lakers fielding errors.  Wattermann settled scattering 3 hits and yielding no runs in his next 6 innings work striking out 5 and walking 2 in a 6 hit appearance firing heat at the Faribault Laker 9.  Zach Lovera slammed the door in relief throwing the last 2 scoreless walking 1 and striking out 1.  After plating a run the in 3rd inning, the Lakers tried to answer but a low line drive to shallow center/rightfield was scooped up by Houston on the run who fired a strike to home ending the inning with Danny Piece canceled at the plate.  The Mudcats “D” had strong play behind both pitchers after the 1st with Ben Morrison diving up the middle from shortstop to flip for a force at 2nd and Corbin Cross snaring a backhander at 3rd to fire an out at 1st later in the game as well a dead sprint over the shoulder grab by Houston at the centerfield warning track behind Lovera off of leadoff hitter Mike Carpentier in the 9th inning.

Cole Bjorge #12 would strikeout in the 9th but warming up was #35 Corbin Cross on a 5-5 day at the plate with a double and included him reaching on balls. PHOTO: Tex Chapman priorlakebaseball.com

The Mudcats 10 unanswered runs (after the 1st inning) were part of a 19 hit onslaught with Houston, Cole Bjorge, Luke Weber, Morrison, Jake Lehrer, Jerad Lehrer all bagging 2 hits.  8 of 9 in the lineup tallied a hit with DH/Manager Greg Faue picking up a hit on his pinch-hit, a bingle to shallow right-center between the 3 closing fielders, in the 4 run clinching Mudcat 8th inning.  None were able to match PL Mudcats offensive leader Corbin Cross who tore up the Lakers ripping to all fields on a 5-5 day that included a double and a walk to help the PL Mudcats clinch a State Tourney slot.

Former Mudcat Tex Chapman and Autumn “fan up” with pitcher Jack Schmidt in the Bell Field Faribault bullpen. PHOTO” BenWa Schmidt priorlakebaseball.com

The Mudcats will continue the modified 2020 Region 3C 8 team bracket on Saturday, August 15 with a 200PM 1st pitch at Veterans Field Memorial Park in Prior Lake when the HOST the Union Hill Bulldogs for the 3rd/4th place seeding game for MBA “C” bracket.  UH beat Faribault 11-1 in game 1 before the St. Patrick Irish sent them to the losers bracket where the took out Lonsdale 10-0 to advance to MBA “C”.  Region 3C concludes Sunday 8/16 with a scheduled 100PM 1st pitch at Bonin Field where the St Patrick Irish HOST the New Prague Orioles for the #1/#2 seeds Region 3C Championship for a draft of DRS pitchers to join squads advancing to the 2020 MBA Class “C” Tournament in Springfield and Milroy.  KCHK 95.5 is Scott County’s Townball Flamethrower with news, schedules, and information on townball.

Check back for information on the 2020 MBA Class “B” & “C” Tournaments for the PL Mudcats as well PL Jays who qualified in Class “B”.  The 2020 season has been a townball best for PL since 2011 when the Mudcats were Region Runner Up and the Jays finished Final 12 in the State Tournament Super Section format that sent 8 teams to “State”.  The 2020 Class “C” Tournament is hosted by Springfield and Milroy and Class “B’ hosted by Shakopee.  Traditionally the Tournament is a 1 site/Multi Park affair however the New Ulm City Council opted out of hosting late in the season with Shakopee and Milroy stepping in to take on host duties.

LINK to BOXSCORE 8/9: PL Mudcats 5-4 Win St Benedict Scoring

LINK to BOXSCORE 8/11: PL Mudcats 5-4 Loss New Prague Scoring

LINK to BOXSCORE 8/13: PL Mudcats 11-3 Win at Faribault

Links:

2020 MBA Region 3C Playoff Bracket

2020 DRS League Standings

PL Mudcats PLABA Webpage-Roster/schedule/info

Game 1 Playoff Preview Story

Game 2 Recap Story

Minnesota Baseball Association