By Adam J.S. Holt
It wasn’t especially flashy, but the Moorhead Brewers earned the right to keep playing in the Class B state tournament.
Moorhead kept flirting with danger against Dundas Friday in a 2-1 win at Joe Schleper Stadium in Shakopee.
The Brewers got just enough offense earlier in the day to beat Sauk Rapids 4-2, then made an even slimmer margin hold up against Dundas.
Up 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, reliever Kyle Kingsley gave up two singles to start the frame. Dundas cleanup hitter Steve Loos flew out to right, and then Tyler Jones grounded to short for a double play to end the game as Kingsley earned his second save of the day.
Moorhead’s Mike Peschel led off the top of the sixth with a single and advanced to third on Joe Hallock’s double. Tanner Adam hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Peschel and put Moorhead up for the first time in the game, 2-1.
The Dukes just couldn’t convert with men on base.
Jones led off the eighth with an infield hit for Dundas, and 34 walked to put two on with one out. Drew Sathrum advanced the runners with a groundout before 11 walked to load the bases with two down. 17 flew out to right on the first pitch to end the frame.
Dundas got three straight singles to start the bottom of the sixth, but 34 lined into a double play for two outs, and while a walk reloaded the bases, Kyle Kingsley came on and got a ground ball to end the threat.
The Dukes scored their one run on six hits and left 11 on base.
The Dukes got their first run without putting the ball into play. Moorhead starter David Ernst issued four straight walks with two down in the third as Dundas went up 1-0.
Moorhead tied the game in the fifth. Chris Clemenson singled with one out, and later scored on a single by Jeremy Peschel.
Ernst went 5 2/3 innings for Moorhead, allowing one run on three hits with seven walks and three strikeouts to get the win. Kingsley pitched the final 3 1/3 in earning the save, with no runs on three hits and two walks with a strikeout.
John McCaustlin started for Dundas, going six innings and allowing two runs, both earned, on six hits and a walk, striking out two. Charlie Ruud pitched the final three, giving up one hit and striking out four.
Moorhead advances to face Northfield at 5 p.m. Sunday in New Prague.
Moorhead 4, Sauk Rapids 2
One early mistake by the Cyclones helped the Brewers needed to stave off elimination in the Class B state tournament.
Moorhead scored two runs in the first inning off an error, then held on for a 4-2 win over Sauk Rapids Friday at Joe Schleper Stadium in Shakopee. The Brewers scraped together enough runs to win despite getting outhit 12-5 for the game.
Moorhead leadoff hitter Denver Blinn doubled to open the sixth, then scored on a single by Joe Hallock to make it 3-1 at the time. The run would hold up as the game-winner.
Moorhead added an insurance run in the eighth, when Blinn hit a leadoff triple and scored on a Mike Peschel single for a 4-2 lead.
A walk and double put two in scoring position for Moorhead in the bottom of the first. Tanner Adam’s ground ball to short was misplayed, scoring both runners and making it 2-0, Brewers.
Sauk Rapids cut the lead in half in the top of the third, on an RBI single from Scott Lochner to score Luis Massa and make it 2-1.
The Cyclones got within one again on a Lochner sacrifice fly to score Massa and cut it to 3-2.
Moorhead starter Tanner Dahl went 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on 11 hits to earn the win. He was relieved by Kyle Kingsley, who earned the save, pitching 1 1/3 shutout innings with two strikeouts.
Sauk Rapids starter Jason Hoppe went eight innings, allowing four runs on five hits.
Moorhead advanced to play Dundas in another elimination game.
Photos by Adam J.S. Holt