The Belle Plaine U12AA Baseball Team is set to compete in the state baseball tournament this weekend, riding the momentum off capturing the championship at the Rochester tournament last weekend.
It was a tough start for the Tigers as they dropped the opener Friday night to Rochester, 5-4, but they fought back during a rain-soaked Saturday morning affair to beat Anoka, 4-3, off five solid innings pitched by Luke Schultz.
The Tigers led 3-1 but relinquished the lead in the fifth inning as Anoka tied the score at 3. Chaz Lovino scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth off a hit by Tom Nagel.
That win put the pool into a three-way tie and the Tigers into the 4 vs. 5 game, with a rematch against Rochester Sunday morning.
The tone for Sunday was set early as the Tigers dominated the rematch with Rochester to the tune of 6-0, riding Brayden Grant’s complete game and a three-hit shutout into the semi finals.
The semi-final game vs. Hudson was a pitchers’ duel.
Chaz Iovino and Mason Bungarden held Hudson in check, only surrendering one run. That was until Bungarden deposited a home run over the 250-foot sign in left to tie the game.
Three extra innings later, Erik Hoff knocked in Tom Nagel to end the game in the bottom of the ninth.
The championship game started slowly for the Tigers, falling behind 2-0 vs. Prior Lake Gold.
In the third inning, the Tigers scored nine runs and added three more in the bottom of the fourth to put the boys up ten runs and end the championship game in four innings.
Now it's on to state.