St. Cloud – The first Class 2A quarterfinal game Thursday at Dick Putz Field was the beginning of top-seeded Belle Plaine's state tournament history. First appearance, first run, first victory, 1-0 over Pine Island.
The Tigers (24-1) scored in the bottom of the first against the Panthers (18-8) on Nathan Herman's RBI double. Brody Curtiss earned the complete-game victory.
Holding back tears, Pine Island coach Craig Anderson said, "It's been 41 years of fun and very special, to finish with these kids it's tremendous.''
Anderson, with 536 wins, is calling it quits after the tournament after 41 years.
Maple Lake 1, Proctor 0: Pitcher Hunter Malachek got all the offense he needed on senior catcher Jack Seibert's home run to open the sixth inning for Maple Lake (23-6). Malachek limited the Rails (18-6) to three baserunners, on two hits and a hit batter. Proctor's John Aase scattered four hits while striking out eight.
Minnehaha Academy 11, East Grand Forks 2: A home run by senior Alexander Fedje-Johnson broke a 2-2 tie in the third inning and the second-seeded Redhawks (25-3) scored eight more runs en route to a victory over the Green Wave (15-9). "For a while we didn't have a lot of fire, but we just needed to get our little spark," Johnson said.
Pierz 13, Paynesville 0: Noah Boser drove in five runs and Lane Girtz had four hits to pace the Pioneers past their Central Minnesota Conference rivals in five innings. The Pioneers beat the Bulldogs twice in the regular season.
MATT HOFFMANN, STAFF REPORTS