Eden Prairie blasts Carroll County in battle of tournament unbeatensDefending Central Plains Region champion Eden Prairie, Minn., won the battle of the two unbeatens Saturday night.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Defending Central Plains Region champion Eden Prairie, Minn., won the battle of the two unbeatens Saturday night.
Eden Prairie defeated Carroll County, Iowa., 8-2 in the third round of the Central Plains Regional American Legion baseball tournament at Southside Municipal Ballpark.
“It’s a great accomplishment for these guys to come back again,” Eden Prairie head coach Scott Hackett said. “Last year was a great ride and we had a pretty good core coming back.
“We have a little more business to do this weekend, before we can get too excited.”
Eden Prairie plays Omaha (Neb.) Pi Midwest at approximately 6 p.m. The winner moves on to the championship game. Carroll County plays Mandan at approximately 3 p.m. in an elimination game.
Eden Prairie put up 12 runs against Mandan in its first game on Saturday, while Carroll County pulled off a 10-inning win over Omaha.
The Minnesota state champions scored a runs in both the first and second innings.
Tyler Peterson drove in University of Minnesota baseball recruit Tony Skjefte for the first run of the game. Blake Schmit put Eden Prairie up 2-0 after a RBI single to center scoring Tyler Ruemmele.
In the fifth, the Merchants got on the board with a RBI double by Brandon Wessels. Carroll then trailed 2-1 after five and half innings.
“We just didn’t capitalize in the first three innings,” Carroll County head coach Matt Lujano said. “We have runners in scoring position all three innings and weren’t able to move them around.
“You can’t play a good team like that and make those mistakes.”
Skjefte extended the lead back to two, 3-1, after a solo home run in the fifth. It didn’t take long for Carroll County to cut into the lead, however, as Jake Esdohr scored on a throwing error in the sixth.
Eden Prairie busted out in the sixth when it loaded the bases with no outs and added three runs.
Ruemmele walked to load the bases and Blake Schmit walked to drive in a run, putting Eden Prairie up 4-2. Skjefte hit a RBI single to center and Tyler Peterson had a RBI groundout to pull ahead 6-2.
Skjefte went 2-for-5 with two RBI and scored two runs, while Schmit went 2-for-4 with four RBI. Peterson was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Schmit continued to pour on the runs in the seventh with a two-run double to extend Eden Prairie’s lead to 8-2.
Cameron Mingo started the game for Eden Prairie, throwing six innings and allowing two runs while striking out nine.
“It was real tight there for awhile,” Hackett said. “Cameron (Mingo) kept us in the game. Our bats got going a little bit.”
In relief for Eden Prairie was another Minnesota baseball recruit, Lance Thonvold. He threw three innings, allowing no runs, no hits and striking out five.
Carroll County went to three different pitchers after Bryce Wessels allowed five runs over five innings. Bryce Berg came on in relief for 1 1/3 innings and gave up three runs. Gunnar Blum finished out the game in 1 1/3 innings.
“We got a great performance out of Bryce (Wessels),” Lujano said. “It’s our third sophomore and three games that we’ve started. Then we are starting our fourth today.”
CC 000 011 000 — 2 4 3
EP 110 013 20x — 8 9 4
Bryce Wessels, Bryce Berg (6), Gunnar Blum (8) and Brandon Wessels. Cameron Mingo, Lance Thronvold (7) and Danny Blasy. W–Mingo. L–Bryce Wessels.
Highlights: CC, Brandon Wessels 2-for-4, RBI; Jake Esdohr 1-for-2, run; Casey Berg 1-for-3. EP, Blake Schmit 2-for-4, 4 RBI; Tony Skjefte 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 runs; Tyler Peterson 2-for-5, 2 RBI; Ryan Maenke 1-for-4, run; David Beluksy 2-for-4, 2 runs; Mingo 6 IP, 9 K, 3 BB, 1 ER, 4 H; Thronvold 3 IP, 5 K, 0 BB, 0 ER, 0 H.
Records: Eden Prairie 36-7-1, Carroll County 2
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)