Homers carry Eden Prairie past MandanEden Prairie, Minn., had to wait a day to play its second game tournament after the postponed games on Friday night. The returning regional champions played like a team that had a day’s rest Saturday.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Eden Prairie, Minn., had to wait a day to play its second game tournament after the postponed games on Friday night.
The returning regional champions played like a team that had a day’s rest Saturday.
Eden Prairie put up nine runs in the first two innings in a 12-2 win over Mandan at the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament on at Southside Municipal Ballpark. The game ended after seven innings due to the 10-run rule.
“Knowing that we had two games regardless, you get a little bigger break if you win,” Eden Prairie head coach Scott Hackett said. “Our key guys had some hits early and Tyler Ruemmele set the tone on the mound for us.”
Eden Prairie’s Tony Skjefte went 4-for-4 with three RBI and scored three runs. He started the scoring with a two-run homer in the first.
The University of Minnesota recruit blasted another home run in the sixth.
“I felt really relaxed and during batting practice. I was feeling really good,” Skjefte said. “The ball looked good to me.”
Eden Prairie (35-7-1) showed off its hitting and defense with 12 runs on 15 hits and four home runs. It committed no errors.
The seven-inning victory should also help preserve some arms for later in the tournament.
“When you have a tournament like this, with a bunch games in a weekend, pitching becomes huge and if you can save innings anywhere, it’s big,” Hackett said. “It’s big not to have to use any bullpen guys in two games.”
Tyler Ruemmele took the mound for Eden Prairie, going the distance and allowing two runs while striking out seven. No matter how well the offense performed, Hackett and Skjefte said it always starts with the pitcher setting the tone.
Eden Prairie plays in the semifinal game against Carroll County.
Mandan’s Reid Jungling had a rough outing, going six innings, allowing 11 runs and striking out two. The majority of the damage done to Jungling was in the first and second inning.
“Eden Prairie is a good team,” Mandan head coach Ryne Jungling said. “When you get down by nine to a good team like that, it’s going to be tough to come back.”
The one thing the Chiefs (34-14) needed was to quickly forget about that game and head into their game with Lino Lakes.
“The thing with baseball, every game is different,” Ryne Jungling said. “We got it shoved a little and we have a game in a couple hours and we’ll see what we can do.”
Mandan 000 010 1 — 2 6 1
EP 271 001 1 — 12 15 0
Reid Jungling, Trent Kruckenberg (7) and Dwight Mack. Tyler Ruemmele and Danny Blasy. W–Ruemmele. L–Jungling. HR–EP, Tony Skjefte 2, Blake Schmit, Lance Thonvold. M, Jacob Friesz.
Highlights: EP, Schmit 4-for-5, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 4 runs; Skjefte 4-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 runs; Adam Bray 2-for-4, 2B, run; Tyler Peterson 1-for-3, RBI, run; Thonvold 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI; Ryan Maenke, 1-for-3, 2B, RBI. M, Brett Bryan 2-for-3; Friesz 1-for-2, HR, RBI, run; Brent Stoltz 1-for-4, RBI; Mack 1-for-3, 2B; Trevor Huck 1-for-3.
Records: Eden Prairie 35-7-1 Mandan 34-14.
Eden Prairie 12, Mandan 2 (7 innings)
Carroll County 5, Omaha 4 (10 innings)
Mandan 5, Lino Lakes 2
Omaha 16, Sioux Falls East 10
Eden Prairie 8, Carroll County 2
Mandan vs. Carroll County, 3 p.m.
Eden Prairie vs. Omaha, 6 p.m.
Championship: Sunday’s winners, 11 a.m. (Second championship at 2 p.m. if necessary)