Henry Sibley's Malik Wilson isn't an overpowering lefthanded pitcher, and the Warriors' lineup doesn't pack a lot of punch. But the combination is making an improbable playoff run.
The Warriors scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning, surprising Northfield 3-1 in the Class 3A tournament quarterfinals Thursday at Siebert Field. Henry Sibley (13-15) has won nine of its past 10 games.
"We didn't have too good of a regular season," said Wilson, who threw a three-hitter with seven strikeouts. "We started to click right before the playoffs."
Charley Hesse broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh with a run-scoring double with two outs. The Warriors added an insurance run on a passed ball.
"The first few guys really battled to get on,'' Hesse said. "I was sitting on a fastball, and put a good swing on it."
Henry Sibley scored its first run in the first inning when Hesse reached on an error with two outs and scored on Sam Gantman's triple. Northfield (20-6) pulled even with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Daniel Glampe scored on Ryan Torbenson's squeeze bunt.
"A lot people quit believing in us, except those of us in red," Hesse said.
Little Falls 7, Rocori 2: The Flyers knew they weren't going to get many chances to score against Rocori ace Ryan Hennen. So they reverted to small ball.
Little Falls (20-5) used two bunts to ignite a six-run sixth inning to beat Rocori (21-4).
"To get here is one thing, but to win and guarantee at least fourth place is pretty cool," Little Falls winning pitcher Thomas Miller said. "To beat a team like that is phenomenal."
Austin Weisz's sacrifice bunt, with runners on first and second and one out, scored the first run on a throwing error. Two batters later, Mitchell Boros laid down a squeeze bunt that scored two more runs, the second on yet another error.
"It's not always fun to watch [small ball] when you're in the stands, but it made the difference today," said Miller, who delivered a two-run triple later in the inning and scored the final run on a groundout.
Mahtomedi 13, New Ulm 3: The Zephyrs accomplished a program first, winning a quarterfinal game in the state tournament.
They scored eight runs in the third inning, benefiting from two Eagle errors and two hit batters. They lost their previous two state tournament quarterfinal appearances in 2014 and 2015.
"Getting beat in the first round the last two years was kind of rough," said Mahtomedi senior shortstop Trevor Moses, who had two doubles and two RBI. "This feels amazing."
New Ulm (16-9) committed back-to-back errors in the bottom of the third after the first batter walked and the next one was hit by a pitch. Mitch Nordin and Joe Rock followed with run-scoring singles before Charlie Bartholomew delivered a two-run single. Moses then hit a two-run double off the left field fence.
"We all locked in on our pitches, and regained our composure," Moses said. He added his second double in the fifth when Mahtomedi (20-5) scored its final three runs.
Benilde-St. Margaret's 8, North Branch 0: Mitch Mell-quist threw a one-hitter while striking out seven over six innings, leading Benilde-St. Margaret's (18-7) past the Vikings. The senior left-hander retired the first 15 batters before his perfect game (error) and no-hitter (infield single) were broken up in the sixth inning.
"One of my best performances of the year," Mellquist said. "The team did a good job of rallying around me."
Derek Drees drove in three runs with two singles.