The bases were loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning and the score tied. Waconia batter Alex Logelin had his sights set.
"I was looking for something over the middle of the plate, and wanted to stay within myself," Logelin said. "I wanted to do what I do best, and that's drive the ball hard up the middle."
He took a swing and did just that, ripping a single to center that gave the Wildcats a 2-1 victory over upset-minded Mahtomedi in the Class 3A quarterfinals Thursday at Siebert Field.
Logelin, who went 3-for-5 with a double, appeared to have the go-ahead RBI four innings earlier. He delivered a sacrifice fly to center field with one out, but Mahtomedi appealed, saying the runner left third base early, and he was called out.
Waconia (24-0) also squandered an opportunity to win it in the eighth. It loaded the bases, with Logelin on third and one out. But a pop up to third and strikeout ended the frame.
"Still being unbeaten is surreal," said Loeglin, a senior. "We are lucky to still have it going."
The Wildcats tied it at 1-all in the fourth. Austin Friedrich hit a double off the right-center field fence and Jacob Hendricks followed with run-scoring single to right.
"It took us a little while to get our hitting going," Waconia coach Mark Grundhofer said. "I was waiting for one of our big hitters to come through with a big hit."
Mahtomedi (14-11) opened the scoring in the first on Charlie Bartholomew's RBI single to left field scored Jamie Berg, who started the inning with a fly ball double that was misplayed by the left fielder. Bartholomew went 3-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt.
The Zephyrs had a chance to add to their lead in the third, but Waconia center fielder Jake Stoddard kept the score at 1-0. With runners on second and third and two outs, Stoddard made a diving catch in left-center field to rob Lincoln Rock of a base hit.
"Jake does that all the time," Grundhofer said. "He's made a few of those for us over the last two years. The nice thing about these kids is they don't get rattled."
Hibbing 9, St. Cloud Tech 4: The Bluejackets were unfazed by the prospect of facing an unbeaten opponent featuring 6-11 lefthanded ace Trevor Koenig.
Hibbing's bottom three hitters combined for six hits, six runs and five RBI to upset the Tigers. Koenig, who entered the game 10-0 with a 0.97 ERA, was lifted after one hitter in the fourth inning.
"This was a big win for us, and the program," said Hibbing coach Jay Wetzel, whose Bluejackets are making the program's first state tournament appearance since 1991. "There was no pressure on us, no expectations."
The bottom three in the Bluejackets' lineup — Dylan Mattson, Andrew Mickelson and Will Durie — all went 2-for-3. Mickelson and Durie each had two RBI while Mattson scored three times and Mickelson twice.
"They kept it simple," said Wetzel, whose squad never trailed. Hibbing (18-8) broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the third, with two scoring on Mickelson's double and the other on Durie's single. "They dropped the barrel of the bat on the ball, and good things happened."
Winning pitcher Travis Carruth went 3-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. Nick Schmitt had two run-scoring doubles for St. Cloud Tech (24-1).
"This has been a long time coming," Wetzel said. "I'm really proud of the kids."
Marshall 3, Red Wing 1: Senior righthander Mason Penske threw a two-hitter to lead the Tigers. He struck out seven and walked two.
"I had to keep the ball down, and hit my spots," Penske said. "I struggled through the middle innings, but had my best stuff in the seventh."
Penske and Teddy Tauer of Red Wing were locked in a pitchers' duel before Marshall (19-6) scored twice in the top of the sixth, breaking a 1-all deadlock. The go-ahead run scored when the Wingers' second baseman made two errors — a missed pop up followed by a throwing error — on the same play. Logan Tomasek followed the miscue with a run-scoring single to right field.
Marshall opened the scoring in the second on Tomasek's solo home run to left field. Red Wing (17-8) tied it two innings later on Tyler Defore's homer.
"We did just enough to get it done," Penske said.
The Wingers' Tauer also went the distance, only allowing four hits while striking out 11 and walking two.
Alexandria 7, St. Thomas Academy 2: Pitcher Carter Stockert didn't need a lot of support. He got more than enough quickly as the Cardinals (20-5) scored five times in the first two innings and rolled to victory over the Cadets (14-10).
Stockert threw five shutout innings, allowing five hits while striking out seven and walking none before departing with a 7-0 lead.
Connor Busse had three of the Cardinals' nine hits. Teammates Brock Anderson, Connor Hammerback and Michael Kuhn each drove in two runs.