BLUE EARTH - The Blue Earth Pirates scored a run in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 2-1 win over the Chanhassen Red Birds on Saturday in first round action of the Class 'C' amateur baseball state tournament at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud.
Blue Earth's Garrett Anderson scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning on John Franta's single up the middle to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.
Justin Schaible scored what would prove to be the game-winning run on Kane Malo's RBI single in the eighth inning.
Chanhassen scored in the ninth inning to make it a one-run ballgame when Casey Malmgren scored on a base hit by John Gulden.
Both starting pitchers went the distance, and neither gave up a run through the first six innings.
The Pirates starter, Lee Hodges, pitched 8 2/3 innings, allowing one run on nine hits, striking out four and walking two, to earn the win. Aaron Wendt came in and pitched for the final out of the game.
Justin Thompson threw eight innings for the Red Birds, allowing two runs on 11 hits and striking out seven to take the loss.
Franta went 2-for-3 for the Pirates and collected one of the two RBIs in the game. Shaible went 2-for-3, including a double, and scored one of the two Blue Earth runs.
Malo went 2-for-4, collecting the game-winning RBI , while T.J. Schmidtke also went 2-for-4 in the game.
Blue Earth's Anderson scored the game winning run and went 1-for-4 in his efforts at the plate, while Wendt went 1-for-4 with a double.
Chanhassen's John Gulden collected the lone RBI for the Red Birds and went 1-for-3, while Malmgren, who scored the run, went 2-for-4.
T.J. Gulden led the way for the Red Bird offense, going 4-for-5 at the plate.
Blue Earth (31-5) faces Detroit Lakes, the No. 1 seed out of Region 14A, at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at Joe Faver Field in St. Cloud.
Fairmont's amateur baseball team faces New Munich in their first tournament game at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Faber Field.
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