Panthers keep section dreams alive
The No. 2 ranked NRHEG Panthers baseball team beat No. 5 Maple River last weekend to keep the team’s Section 2AA tournament dreams alive after facing a setback against Sibley East earlier in the week.
NRHEG took down Maple River 5-2 in the elimination bracket quarterfinals to stay alive in the tournament.
“The key play of the game was in the bottom of the first when Andrew Phillips stole home starting a three-run rally and we never looked back,” said Coach Mark Lee. “Daxter Lee was good on the mound going three innings, but on the second pitch of the game he tweaked his back and you could really see it. Tyrone Wilson came in for relief and was great and Jackson Chrz finished the game on the mound for the save.”
As Lee said, the Panthers ran up an early lead against the Eagles by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning, and took control of the game from there.
Maple River was able to make the game 3-1 at the end of the second inning, but NRHEG struck back to make the game 4-1 with one run in the bottom of the third.
Maple River scored its last run of the game in the fifth before NRHEG closed the scoring with one run in the sixth to bring the score to its closing tally at 5-2.
Despite out-hitting the Panthers 6-3, Maple River was unable to stay in the game due to four critical errors in the field and stingy defense by the Panthers squad.
Daxter Lee and Clay Stenzel were the Panthers’ leaders on offense with Lee recording one hit and two runs, while Stenzel scored two runs and tallied one RBI.
Earlier in the week, NRHEG found itself on the wrong side of an 11-5 game against No. 3 Sibley East.
NRHEG took an early 2-0 lead after the first inning, but quickly found itself playing catch-up.
The Panthers were able to tie the game at 5-5 after the fifth inning, but Sibley East answered with a run in the top of the sixth and added another five runs in the seventh to close the game.
Before the Sibley East game, NRHEG took down No. 10 Minnesota Valley Lutheran 5-2 at home to advance after receiving an opening-round bye.
The game was tied at 1-1 after both teams crossed home in the first inning, but NRHEG found all of the offense it needed to secure the win behind a massive four-run third inning.
NRHEG played No. 4
Belle Plaine in the Section 2AA elimination bracket semifinals on Tuesday; however, stats and results were not available at the time of press.
vs. Maple River
H R RBI
Lee 1 2 0
Stenzel 0 2 1
Wilson 1 0 1
Phillips 1 1 0
IP H R K BB
Lee 3.0 2 1 6 2
Wilson 2.1 3 0 2 3
Chrz 1.2 1 0 3 1