Update: The Waconia baseball team has been eliminated from the section tournament after a 4-1 loss to Chaska on May 28.
The Section 2AAA baseball tournament kicked off over the holiday weekend, and after three games, the No. 8 Waconia Wildcats were still alive. After winning their first game 5-4 over Buffalo in 10 innings, the Wildcats made it to the double elimination rounds of the tournament. Losing their second game 9-2 to No. 1 seeded Minnetonka, the ‘Cats were bounced to the “loser” bracket, but were still alive to defeat New Prague 2-1 in eight innings on May 27.
Facing No. 9 Buffalo on May 24, Waconia won 5-4 in 10 innings. Tied 3-3 after regulation, extra innings were needed and Buffalo was able to post one run in the top of the 10th to make it a 4-3 game. Batting in the bottom of the 10th with two outs and the bases loaded, Waconia’s Jake Stevenson had a walk-off single to left field to score Dan Butz and Hunter Baumann and win the game 5-4, eliminating Buffalo from the tournament.
Waconia scored five runs on four hits, one each from Stevenson (1-3, 2 RBI), Butz (1-4, double, 2 RBI), Nick Hukriede (1-4, RBI), and Cole Hanson (1-4).
Senior Josh Lenz was the winning pitcher, after throwing six innings for WHS, allowing one run on two hits. He walked five and struck out nine. Stevenson pitched 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits, walking three and striking out two. Junior Jacob Herd closed the final 2.2 innings for the ‘Cats. He let up one run on one hit and walked one.
After defeating Buffalo, Waconia had to faced No. 1 Minnetonka that same night, eventually losing 9-2. The Wildcats led 2-1 after three innings, but four Skipper runs in the bottom of the fourth would give Minnetonka the lead for good. The Skippers also posted four additional runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Waconia scored one run each in the top of the second and third innings. The Wildcats first run came on a lead-off solo home run to left field by Stevenson to start the second inning. The rest of the inning was three up, three down for WHS. In the third, the Wildcats managed to cross another runner on no hits.
Roch Whittaker took the loss for Waconia, having throwing 2.2 innings and allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits. He walked four. Dylan Lindner also threw for 2.2 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits. He walked one and struck out one. Butz threw the final two outs for WHS, allowing one hit.
Kicked into the single elimination bracket with the loss to Minnetonka, the Wildcats defeated No. 12 New Prague on May 27, in an eight-inning 2-1 victory.
With early section success, the Wildcats advanced to play Chaska on May 28, but results were not available when this issue went to press. The winner advances to games on June 1, the loser is eliminated.
In preparation for the section tournament, the Wildcats faced Big Lake and Buffalo on Monday, May 20. In a closely contested game, Waconia lost 4-3 to Big Lake after Big Lake was able to break the tie with one run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Herd took the loss for WHS, throwing the first six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits. He walked one Big Lake batter and struck out three. Butz closed the game, throwing one-third of an inning and allowing Big Lake’s final hit and run. He walked one.
At the plate, Butz was 2-3, as was Hanson. Hukriede (double), Sawyer (RBI), Stevenson, and Whittaker (RBI) each had a hit as well.
At Buffalo that same night, the Wildcats tied 1-1 after the game was called due to rain after five innings. Buffalo posted its run in the bottom of the third and the Wildcats answered with theirs in the top of the fourth.
Stevenson first singled to left field, before being called out advancing to second. Herd followed up with a triple to put himself in scoring position. He would score on a single to center from Hukriede.
Both teams had four hits. Waconia’s four hits came from Herd (triple), Hukriede (RBI), Stevenson, and Lenz.
Lenz pitched for WHS, allowing one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out six Buffalo batters.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]