Sobieski’s Tyler Jendro pitched a complete game and shut out the New Ulm Brewers 2-0 in the Class C state amateur title game Monday at Jordan. This would have made Jendro a contender for the tournament’s MVP award, but there was a touch more on his resume.
Over three weekends, Jendro was the winning pitcher in all six games for Sobieski. He had complete games in his four starts, including a no-hitter against New Market in the quarterfinals on Saturday night. He also pitched 5 2/3 innings in relief of Kyle Petershick, the Skis’ other starter, and was the winner in both.
The state amateur tournament dates to 1924. Jendro’s six victories and 41 2/3 innings pitched were records. He allowed one run, 19 hits, three walks, three hit batsmen and had 44 strikeouts in those 41 2/3 innings. He also had the winning RBI in three of the games.
Most remarkably, Jendro pitched 23 2/3 of those innings from Saturday night through mid-afternoon on Monday, without allowing a run.
Asked on the phone Monday night the condition of his right arm, Jendro said: “It doesn’t feel too bad right now. I’m guessing when I wake up tomorrow morning it’s going to be sore.’’
Jendro had finished Sobieski’s 2-1 win over Faribault in a rain-delayed semifinal that resumed Monday morning. He went to his manager Brad Czech when it ended and said, “I’m good,’’ meaning he was ready to face potent New Ulm in the title game.
“They have some big guys on that team who really swing the bat,’’ Jendro said. “There were a couple of balls hammered where our center fielder, Beau Hanowski, made catches that I couldn’t believe.’’
The Class C title was a first for Sobieski, a small village that draws most of its players from Little Falls. Jendro and a couple of others come from Royalton.
The Class B title went to the Cold Spring Springers with a 3-1 victory over St. Cloud Beaudreau’s in Belle Plaine. It was the Springers’ second title in a row and their ninth in a record 52 state tournament appearances.
Sobieski came to the 48-team Class C tournament as the fourth seed out of its region. That meant the Skis were among the 32 teams playing on the opening weekend of Aug. 15-17. Jendro beat Hanska 2-0 in that first round.
The challenge was amped up the next weekend, when the Skis faced Maple Lake, rated No. 1 in unofficial state Class C ratings. Jendro went the distance in a 3-1 victory.
There were four victories required over the Labor Day weekend for a C team to win the state title. Jendro pitched his no-hitter to beat New Market on Saturday.
Petershick, a draftee from Randall, started Sunday afternoon’s quarterfinal against Fergus Falls. Jendro took over with the game tied 1-1 in the ninth and worked three scoreless innings in what became a 4-1 victory.
The Skis then made the short drive from Belle Plaine to Jordan for Sunday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal. Petershick, a noble chucker himself, again started. Faribault was leading 1-0 when the game was suspended until Monday by rain.
On Monday, the game was tied 1-1 in the seventh when Jendro came on in relief again. He hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth and that was the winning run in a 2-1 victory.
There was a short break and then Jendro took the mound against New Ulm. He went nine and shut out the Brewers and, yeah, Jendro took home the plaque in the easiest decision an MVP committee ever has had to make.
Jendro went to Royalton High and then spent one year playing baseball at St. Cloud Technical College. He went from there to Southwest Minnesota State, where he played shortstop and served as a closer.
“My last year, I would play shortstop and also would be the starter in the fourth game of the weekend on Sunday,’’ Jendro said. “This was a bit extreme, but I’ve always been able to pitch when asked, I’d say.’’