Ninth-inning rally too much for Rosemount to handle in district amateur baseball tournament
by Jason Olson
Burnsville remained alive in the District 5 Class B tournament
following Wednesday’s 12-5 win over Lakeville at Alimagnet Park in
The top two teams will go on to represent the section and the Cannon
Valley League at the state amateur baseball tourmnament in Chaska and
Shakopee early next month.
As in the late-inning heroics the night before, Burnsville third
baseman Charlie Dubanoski put in another impressive game, going 4-for-5
with five RBIs.
His single in the first inning scored Roddy Hjort, and he added a
three-run home run in the sixth inning to break the game wide open to
Bobcats pitcher Will Dahlgren pitched seven innings, giving up three runs and contriubted at the plate.
Lakeville cut the lead to 6-3 before Dahlgren calmed the Burnsville
faithfull with his own three-run shot in the bottom half of the inning.
“It really eased the pressure of the comeback,” Burnsville head coach Kevin McDermott.
The win set up a matchup between top-seed Savage and the Bobcats on Aug. 2.
Savage leads the season series 2-1, but Burnsville won the first
meeting 8-1. The last two games were decided by two runs or fewer with
the Outlaws winning 6-5 and 2-0.
If it weren’t for one swing of the bat from Burnsville’s Dubanoski, Rosemount would have remained alive in the Section 5 Class B tournament, but his line drive hit to the gap in right-center field scored the tying and winning runs Tuesday night as Burnsville (8-7 in the Cannon Valley League) eliminated Rosemount (5-10) with a 6-5 win.
The rally began before anyone got into the batters box. McDermott said he told the players not to swing until he threw one strike.
The advice paid off, as the first batter walked and the second batter ripped a 3-1 pitch for a double to left field.
“We had many two-strike counts, but we also made him pitch from behind in the count,” McDermott said about his team, which was 2-1 against Rosemount this season before Tuesday’s game. The last two meetings were high-scoring affairs with Burnsville winning 15-4 and 23-4.
Burnsville jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a base hit by Jason Grimm, scoring David Keeney.
Rosemount pitcher Matt Doornick struck out the side en route to a 15-strikeout complete game. He also walked five and was the losing pitcher.
Rosemount took its only lead with a four-run rally in the sixth inning, highlighted by Loren Sjoquist’s home run, which traveled about 340 feet into the trees beyond the left field wall.
The swing also broke up Bobcat pitcher Josh Threlkeld’s try for a perfect game.
“Loren’s home run really brightened us up,” co-manager Grant Mohwinkel said about how much impact one swing had on the mood in the dugout. “The guys really responded, and sometimes it takes one guy to get things going.”
Jason Kirschman followed with a two-run-scoring double to left field. He added a solo home run in the ninth inning to make it 5-2 for the visitors.
McDermott said the thriller is something his team can build on.
“It gave us great momentum and, hopefully, it gives us momentum into (Wednesday’s) game against Lakeville,” he said early Wednesday.
That momentum carried through Wednesday evening as the Bobcats ended a team’s season on consecutive days, sending Lakeville home with a 12-5 score.
The season series was 2-2 prior to Wednesday’s meeting. The Athletics shut out the Bobcats 9-0 in the season opener, and Burnsville won the next two meetings 12-2 and 4-3.
The two teams met in the opening round of the playoffs, with Lakeville winning 5-2.
Burnsville loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth inning, but the Athletics didn’t surrender a run getting the Bobcats out on a strikeout and two pop flies to escape unscathed.
The Athletics fell to Apple Valley in Tuesday’s other game, putting the Millers into next week’s round of playoffs with the top two seeds and the winner of Wednesday’s Lakeville/Burnsville game.
Burnsville is the defending section champion.
Jason Olson is at firstname.lastname@example.org.