In the opening round of section 5AAA playoffs May 25, Blaine beat its neighbors, the Spring Lake Park Panthers, 5-3. But Blaine’s playoffs ended on Memorial Day when third seed Robbinsdale Cooper handed the sixth seed Bengals a 7-4 loss.
Blaine’s right-handed pitching ace, senior Tanner Schumacher, struck out 15 and allowed only four hits as he recorded his fifth win for the Bengals in game one of section playoffs.
The Panthers threatened late in the game when Jake Mathys hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh adding to Spring Lake Park’s only previous run of the game.
Mathys also pitched a complete game for the Panthers, but neither his skills on the mound nor at the plate could rescue Spring Lake Park from section playoff elimination.
When the Bengals faced Robbinsdale Cooper May 28 they were beaten 7-4.
Blaine scored the first run when Nick Beckman scored on a wild pitch by Onas Farfan in the top of the second inning.
Blaine held on to that 1-0 lead until the bottom of the third when Robbinsdale Cooper responded with three runs. After a wild pitch and a base on balls, Cooper’s Nehwon Norkeh batted two runs in with a base hit and Jay Tonsager scored off a double steal.
Blaine tied it up in the sixth, but Robbinsdale Cooper again responded, this time with a walk-off, three-run homer in the eighth, sending it on to the final four – and ending Blaine’s run for a section 5AAA championship title and a berth in the state tournament.
Meanwhile, Coon Rapids beat Osseo 7-2 on a Memorial Day section 5AAA playoff game and then faced Robbinsdale Cooper in the May 30 section quarterfinal game.
The winner of that game will face the winner of the Maple Grove-Totino Grace quarterfinal game for a June 1 semi-final game at Midway Stadium. First pitch, 8 p.m.
Sue Austreng is at firstname.lastname@example.org