By Adam J.S. Holt, contributor
No one can stop the Red Birds this year — not even the defending champions.
The Chanhassen Red Birds knocked off 2016 champ Miesville, beating the Mudhens 5-2 in the Class B state tournament winner’s bracket championship Saturday in Hamburg. The Red Birds ended the Mudhens’ 24-game winning streak, and now Chanhassen sits one win away from a state title.
Some Mudhen mistakes in the second inning helped the Red Birds take a 3-2 lead, one that Chanhassen never relinquished. Justin Anderson’s solo home run and Gunnar McCarthy’s RBI double made it 5-2 in the fifth, backing up a gutty effort by Logan Spitzack on the mound.
Spitzack went all nine innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, striking out nine.
Miesville got two innings out of Steve Maher, who allowed three unearned runs on four hits and three walks, striking out one. Jacob Dickmeyer finished the game, going seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batsman, striking out six.
Deryk Marks hit a two-run homer to put Miesville up 2-0 in the first inning.
Miesville awaits the winner of Moorhead and Northfield, that game being played at 5 p.m. Sunday in Green Isle. Miesville plays the winner following the conclusion of that game in the consolation championship. The consolation champ faces Chanhassen at noon Monday in Hamburg, and should the Red Birds fall, a second title game would be played afterward.