St. Mary’s defeats LCWM

MANKATO – Errors in the regular season can cost you the game.

Those same errors – in an elimination game in postseason – can cost you even more.

Lake Crystal/Wellcome Memorial committed its sixth error of the game in the top of ninth inning which led to two unearned runs as Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s eliminated LCWM by a 4-2 score in Section 2A game at Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato.

All four of St. Mary’s runs were unearned.

Mike Zinniel got the win for St. Mary’s now 19-5. He allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out eight.

Bryson Yackel took the season-ending loss for LCWM (14-9). He scattered four hits but was hurt by his defense.

Jared Beltz had two of the four hits for the Knights.

Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s will now battle BOLD at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Franklin Rogers Park in another elimination with the winner of that game meeting Mankato Loyola at approximately 7:30 p.m.

St. Mary’s took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second without the aid of a hit.

Mike Hirsch reached second on the first error of the game before a Zinniel sacrifice bunt placed him at third. Jay Helget reached on the second error of the inning with Hirsch scoring for a 1-0 lead.

The third miscue of the inning by the LCWM defense scoring Helget for that two run lead.

Lake Crystal cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning. Junior Welsch rapped a one out double and came home on a Zach Anderson base hit.

LCWM threatened in the third when Chuck Menne and Shane Nelson singled after two were out. But Zinniel retired Devon Hagge to end the inning.

But in the bottom of the fifth Lake Crystal knotted the game on a Minne RBI double.

The score stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth when LCWM threatened to take the lead.

Menne stroked a lead-off double. But Zinniel put out the fire when he set down the next three hitters to end the threat,

“Mike did a nice job getting through that,” said St. Mary’s coach Bruce Woitas. “And then he struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth.”

Zinniel’s strikeouts came after St. Mary’s scored two runs in the top of the inning.

Pinch-hitter Elliot Braun, batting for Jared Rothmeier, walked. With Rothmeier re-entering the game at first David Surprenant’s groundball was thrown away with Rothmeier hustling around to score for a 3-2 lead.

Jared Beltz then drove in an insurance run for a 4-2 lead.

The Knights will now play BOLD.

“They are not the defending two-time section champion for no reason,” said Woitas. “I am anticipating that we will see Logan Sandgren, their ace of their pitching staff. They are a nice hitting team with good speed. We are going to have to play as well as we did on Tuesday when we beat them 4-1 at their place.”

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