Behind 16 strikeouts over 7.1 innings by pitcher Matt Mossey, Blaine Fusion opened play in the Class B State Amateur Baseball Tournament with a 9-4 win over Duluth Xpress in Belle Plaine.
Among the field of 16 teams that make up the Class B state amateur baseball tournament, four call the Metro Minny League home, including the Blaine Fusion and Coon Rapids Redbirds.
East Bethel won four times in 19 Metro Minny League games this summer and posted a 9-19 overall record, tying league-newcomer Ramsey Renegades for ninth place out of 12 teams.
Blaine (21-4, 9-2) scored five times in the seventh inning for a 9-4 win at rival Coon Rapids in Metro Minny League play July 9.
The second half of the Metro Minny League schedule should be an entertaining, but packed July schedule.
According to the league web site, no team has played more than 11 games, so “let the pennant fever begin.”
Coon Rapids Redbirds won back-to-back games to improve to 12-8 overall (6-3 in the league) this season after a 5-4 win against Metro Minny League-rival Blaine Fusion June 28 and an 8-6 non-league win against Victoria Vics, the defending Class B state champions June 30.
The Fusion hosted the Rochester Royals Saturday evening, losing a tough game 3-2. Blaine (26-5 overall) has a tougher challenge off the field, as the Metro Minny has ruled that two of their players are ineligible – which might disqualify the Fusion from postseason play.
The Blaine Fusion traveled to Albertville last Sunday afternoon and defeated the Villains 9-6, led by a crucial seven-run sixth inning. This was the first ever matchup between the teams, and the game counted in Section 8B playoff seeding.