Cougar boys close with playoff loss at Spring Grove

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Drew Wyffels slides safely into third base ahead of the tag from Spring Grove's Caleb Nerstad.

LEE EPPS/NEWS LEADER Cougar runner Cayden Tollefsrud dives back into first base as Chandler Bergrud goes low for the pick-off throw during sub-section quarterfinal at Spring Grove.
Chad Smith

The third time was not the charm, but things began well for No. 7 seed Mabel-Canton in a 14-3 Sub-section 1A East baseball quarterfinal loss at No. 2 Spring Grove on May 22.

Leadoff batter Drew Wyffels singled and would be one of three Cougars to score on bases-loaded walks. Lion relief pitcher Alex Folz would walk in one of those runs but ended the rally with a bases-loaded strikeout.

Spring Grove (13-6) would score all 14 runs in the first two innings and go on to win in five innings, the Lions' third run-rule win versus Mabel-Canton this season.

After M-C jumped out to that quick 3-0 lead, there would be no more walks, and only two more Cougars would reach base during the final four innings. Cayden Tollefsrud singled with two outs in the second inning, and Wyffels (2 for 3) would single with two outs in the fourth.

Spring Grove didn’t commit any errors while taking advantage of six Cougar miscues and six walks. Their 13-hit attack included a triple and two doubles. Eight of the nine Lion batters had base hits. Nic Peterson hit 3 for 4, and Chandler Bergrud went 2 for 4 (triple, three RBIs).

The season ended for Mabel-Canton (1-17), while Spring Grove (15-6) would also win the next two games and the sub-section championship, the program's first postseason tournament title in 40 years.