Trailing by a run entering the fifth inning, Minnehaha Academy players felt things were a little too sanitary for their liking.
The Redhawks scored five runs in the inning, turning a one-run deficit into a four-run lead, and held on to defeat Belle Plaine 5-1 to win the Class 2A baseball championship.
"We pride ourselves on being loudest, most obnoxious team. We call it 'greasy' baseball,' " senior shortstop Alex Fedje-Johnson said. "We got a little quiet when they got that one run. After that, we knew we had to go full grease."
Pitcher Jesse Retzlaff went the distance for Minnehaha, giving up one run and two hits while striking out 12. It was a long way from 2015, when Retzlaff gave up six runs in 5⅓ innings in a championship-game loss to St. Cloud Cathedral. That outing at Target Field was fresh in Retzlaff's mind.
"I wanted this one real bad," Retzlaff said. "I was coming back out to get a championship in this one."
Minnehaha Academy (27-3) collected three hits off Belle Plaine starter Brody Curtiss in the first two innings, but couldn't score. Curtiss then settled in, at one point retiring 10 consecutive batters.
The top-seeded Tigers (25-2) got their run in the bottom of the fourth, when Curtiss tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly for a short-lived 1-0 lead.
Minnehaha answered in the top of the fifth. With one out, Kenny Kiratli, the No. 8 hitter, coaxed a walk. Retzlaff followed with another. A pair of passed balls, an error, two more walks and two hits later, the Redhawks had a 5-1 lead.
"The last two batters in the lineup and the leadoff batter, the 8-9-1 we call them, we take it upon ourselves to get something going," Kiratli said. "We started the rally and the heart of the order picked it up and got the job done."
Minnehaha coach Scott Glenn said his team is accustomed to scoring runs in bunches. "We have a lot of zeroes, but then we get a five- or a six-run inning," Glenn said. "We get going in the dugout and they start yelling and screaming and it builds big innings."
Fedje-Johnson said the Redhawks had waited a year to get redemption for the 2015 loss.
"It feels great," he said. "The dogpile at the end ... we saw Cathedral do that last year. I'm glad it was us this year."