MINNEAPOLIS - While the jerseys say Eagles, an aquatic animal was more apropos for this New York Mills baseball team.
“We’re like leeches,” said head coach Dustin Geiser. “We cling on and stick around and make things happen. That’s how we’ve done it all year long. We never take the easy route and I think that’s how we got to where we got to. We’re that pesky team that won’t go away.”
Reaching the Minnesota Class A state baseball championship, the second-seeded Eagles stuck with top-seeded BOLD for the first five innings. But a dominant performance by Warriors pitcher Jordan Sagedahl combined with a six-run inning for BOLD kept New York Mills from securing its first state championship in an 8-0 loss Thursday at Target Field.
“We always take as a team about enjoying the moment and what we’re doing down here is pretty special,” Geiser said. “One hundred-forty-six teams in Class A would love to be runners-up right now. It’s really hard to get back in that mindset that although you lost a game, you just did something special.”
Starting pitcher Caden Roberts worked out of some early jams and kept the game scoreless through three innings while the Warriors had six runners stranded on base.
“I was feeling pretty good through the first couple innings,” said Roberts, who went 5-1/3 innings. “I felt pretty good all day but they were able to hit me and got on base. There’s not much you can do about that.”
BOLD struck first when pinch hitter Blake Flann had an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth. Then to lead off the fifth, Sagedahl hit a ball to the right-field gap for an inside-the-park home run to put the Warriors ahead 2-0.
“He stung it in that gap and it’s so big out there,” said BOLD head coach Brian Kingery. “High school kids aren’t used to running like that and throwing to the cut. Jay has good speed and he just kept going. We sent him and he made the play.”
But that was hardly Sagedahl’s biggest contribution as the junior had nine strikeouts and held the Eagles to just one hit: a single by Abe Carlson to lead off the seventh inning.
By that time, New York Mills trailed 8-0 after BOLD pieced together six runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth.
“His velocity was up there. It was better pitching than we’ve seen most of the year,” Geiser said. “He pounded the strike zone and the defense played behind him. Whenever your defense has zero errors, that’s going to help tremendously and that’s how you throw no-hitters.”
The Eagles finish the year at 21-5.
“It’s a great group of guys,” Roberts said. “We’re losing four seniors but we still have a strong team coming for a couple more years.”NYM 000 000 0-0 1 3
BOLD 000 116 x-8 10 0Hitting - New York Mills: BOLD:
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - New York Mills: Caden Roberts (L) 5.1-7-4-4-2-2, Derin Gaudette 0.1-3-4-4-3-0, Drey Roberts 0.1-0-0-0-1-0 … BOLD: Jordan Sagedahl (W) 7-1-0-0-3-9