BIRD ISLAND - The Winnebago American Legion Post 82/Blue Earth Post 89 baseball team captured the Minnesota Division II state tournament's consolation championship on Sunday in Bird Island.
Right-hander Dallas Barslou fired a four-hit complete-game shutout, while teammate David Franta collected three hits and scored two runs to guide Winnebago/ Blue Earth to a 3-0 victory over Bird Island/ Olivia.
"I don't think anyone predicted our team to accomplish what it did, but I'm very proud of each and every one of these players," said WBE head coach Steve Sonnicksen, whose lineup ended the summer campaign with a 19-4 record. "These kids are competitors, and they proved that throughout the playoffs."
Christian Haugh demonstrated that mettle by delivering the shot heard around the state tourney on Saturday, smacking what proved to be the game-winning three-run home run during the top of the eighth inning to engineer WBE's 8-5 consolation semifinal victory over Pine Island.
Haugh went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to pace WBE's 11-hit performance on Saturday, while Quinn Huisman fired a complete game from the mound to earn the victory. Huisman allowed five runs - only three earned - on six hits, struck out three and walked two in eight innings of work.
Barslou then displayed his tenacity by holding Bird Island/ Olivia (BOLD), which captured the Minnesota State High School League's Class A state baseball championship this spring, scoreless for seven innings during Sunday's consolation finale.
Franta helped stake Barslou and WBE to an early 1-0 lead during the top of the first inning. Franta, who went 3-for-4, drilled a one-out double before eventually crossing the plate on Haugh's RBI fielder's choice.
Despite Seth Anderson's double and Carter Hanson's single during the fourth frame, Bird Island/Olivia starting pitcher Sawyer Tersteeg kept WBE off the scoreboard by coaxing a double play to avert danger.
Franta, however, set the table for WBE during the top of the fifth by singling off of Tersteeg with two outs. Franta swiped second base before circling the bases on Brandyn Olsen's RBI double to left to extend WBE's lead to 2-0.
WBE then manufactured an insurance run during the sixth when Hanson singled, Luke Schavey walked and Bird Island/Olivia unleashed an errant throw to first base on Huisman's sacrifice bunt to plate Hanson.
Barslou then slammed the door shut, working a 1-2-3 seventh inning to seal the consolation crown. Barslou demonstrated outstanding control, recording three strikeouts without issuing a walk in seven innings of work.
Olsen, Seth Anderson and Hanson each produced two hits for WBE, while Barslou chipped in a hit.
WBE 100 011 0 - 3 11 1
BI/O 000 000 0 - 0 4 1
Dallas Barslou (WP) and Carter Hanson. Sawyer Tersteeg (LP) and Trent Athmann.
LOB-Winnebago/Blue Earth 7, Bird Island/Olivia 5.