Cougar boys drop three heading into sub-section tournament

By: 
Chad Smith

The Mabel-Canton baseball team finished up the regular season last week with three games, first dropping an 11-0 contest at Spring Valley versus GMLOK on Tuesday, May 14. They played a rare Wednesday game, this time a make-up against Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger and lost 13-1.

M-C lost the final game of the regular season on Thursday, May 16, to Lyle/Pacelli 12-1. The Cougars finished the regular season at 1-16 overall (1-14 SEC).

Sub-section

Mabel-Canton received the lowest number seven seed and played at number two Spring Grove (12-6) in the Sub-section 1A East baseball tournament on Wednesday of this week.

The loser was eliminated while the winner advanced into a double-elimination format for the remainder of sub-section and section play.

The Cougars vs. Lions winner will play at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, at Winona State University against either number three seed and defending champion Rushford-Peterson (7-11-1) or number six Houston (2-16).

The other half of the bracket includes number one seed Southland (7-12), number four Schaeffer Academy (6-12) and number five Wabasha-Kellogg (4-15)

GMLOK 11, M-C 0

Grand Meadow/LeRoy-Ostrander/Kingsland (16-2, 13-0 SEC)          remained undefeated in conference play and clinched a share of the SEC championship as Dylan Lunning pitched a one-hit, 11-0 shutout, one single away from a perfect game. It was a rare occasion for high school baseball with no walks.

The one Mabel-Canton hit came early from Jack Arneson, the second batter of the game. No other Cougar was able to reach base as Lunning retired the next 14 batters in order.

This would be the fifth game of the season with no runs for Mabel-Canton. Lunning only struck out two but was backed by an error-free defense.

The Bulldogs wasted no time at the plate with five runs scoring before the first out. Their first six batters all hit safely with a home run, a triple, three doubles and a lead-off single.

Drew Copley, their ace pitcher, was not on the mound but hit a home run while going two for two with three runs batted in. Nolan Skifter went two for three with two doubles and another three RBIs.

GMLOK scored in each of four innings at the plate before the game ended in the fifth with the 10-run rule. For M-C, neither starting pitcher Parker Ingvalson nor reliever Alex Arneson issued a walk. However, because of five Cougar errors, M-C pitchers gave up only five earned runs.               Lunning had also been the winning pitcher in the Bulldogs' late-April 14-2 win at Mabel-Canton.

GE/AC 13, M-C 1,

Mabel-Canton left runners on base every inning, but only the first Cougar batter scored as the Cougars dropped a 13-1 decision to Glenville-Emmons/Alden-Conger. Drew Wyffels led off with a single, stole second base and scored on the second of two ground outs. The run broke a 20-inning scoring drought for the Cougars.

The run also tied the score at 1-1, but the Wolverines would go on to score in every inning, regaining the lead quickly with a five-run second inning.

Three GE/AC pitchers scattered all five Cougar hits into five different innings, but four walks, one hit batter and three Wolverine errors helped create scoring opportunities for Mabel-Canton.

The Cougars advanced a runner to third base in each of the final four innings but could not come up with a timely base hit. M-C, trailing 8-1, left the bases loaded in the fifth.

Wyffels and Ingvalson each hit two for four with a double. Wyffels was also robbed of a hit with an outstanding catch by Wolverine second baseman Reece Nelson. The other Cougar hit came off the bat of Alex Arneson.

On the mound, Wyffels and Cayden Tollefsrud combined to strike out eight and walk only two, while the defense committed only one error. But GE/AC out-hit M-C 16 to 5, including an 8-to-2 margin in extra-base hits.

The big blow was a three-run home run from sophomore Josiah Hedensten. The winning pitcher, sophomore Tyler Lair, went five for five at the plate with two doubles.

The run rule was not in effect as the visitors did not achieve a 10-run lead until adding four runs in the final seventh inning. GE/AC (6-10, 5-8 SEC) had defeated M-C 10-0 in five innings back in the Wolverines' season opener.

Lyle/Pacelli 12, M-C 1

Despite some stellar defensive plays, one Mabel-Canton run would be far too few as the regular season ended with a 12-1 home loss to Lyle/Pacelli. The Cougars scored that lone run by crowding three of their six hits into one inning. Singles by Spencer Arnold, Jack Arneson and Cayden Tollefsrud helped send Wyffels home to make it a 4-1 game in the third inning.

All six M-C hits (all singles) came from different players, including Randy Gerard, Colton Heintz-Kuderer and Wyffels. There was minimal charity as sophomore pitcher Zach Bollingberg issued only one walk while the L/P defense had only one error.

There were several defensive highlights for the Cougars, including a double play with Cayden Tollefsrud stopping a line drive before throwing out another runner.

Catcher Jordan Larson threw out Lyle/Pacelli's first base runner at second base. Second baseman Jack Arneson made an impressive catch while retreating into right field and Jaymeson Tollefsrud made a good incoming grab in left field.

The Athletics led 6-1 before exploding for six runs in the sixth inning. The game ended with the run rule as Bollingberg closed it out with two of his seven strikeouts in the bottom of the inning.

Six of the nine players in the L/P batting order were sophomores, but the youthful Athletics banged out 15 hits with the big blow a three-run home run by senior Cory Weber.

The first six L/P batters of the game reached base while taking a 4-0 first-inning lead. Besides the round-tripper, L/P also had two triples and four doubles.

The Athletics (11-8, 8-6 SEC) had defeated the Cougars 17-7 earlier in the season.