Sunday, June 16, 2019

Stillwater Ponies Take Third Place in Class AAAA Baseball

The Class AAAA third place game between the Rogers Royals and the Stillwater Ponies was like watching a play in two acts.

In Act I, Stillwater pitcher Ben Borrman held the Royals hitless through six innings, allowing only one base runner, a walk to Carter Van Engen and in Act II, the Royals came back from a three run deficit in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game and the Ponies won in the bottom of the inning on a walkoff, bases loaded squeeze bunt from Nicholas Seeman that led them to a 4-3 win Saturday night at CHS Field in St. Paul.

Both teams were scoreless through the first three innings as Borrman would go on a run of eight straight strikes that would include striking out the side in the fourth and fifth innings.  The senior pitcher did get support from the Ponies offense.  In the bottom of the fourth, Jay Haws hit an RBI single that scored Tuanson Dufrense-To and Haws would cross the plate on a double from Noah Potter.

Stillwater would go up by three in the bottom of the fifth on Will Frisch's home run that landed in the left field bullpen.

But Rogers, who entered the state tournament with a sub .500 record of 11-13 would battle back with three runs in the top of the seventh inning.  Borrman's no hitter would come to an end on Easton Miller's one out triple and he would score on Reed Olson's RBI single.  They would tie the game on Nick Smegal's two RBI double that scored Olson and Christian Meyer.

The Ponies were up in the bottom of the seventh and Drew Gilbert led off with a double and stole third base,  Frisch's one out walk and Dufrense-To being hit by a pitch loaded the bases for Seeman.  He laid down a perfect squeeze bunt in front of Van Engen and Gilbert would head home to bring the Ponies the bronze medals and third place trophy.

Borrman pitched a complete game and finished with 14 strikeouts.

Stillwater concluded their season with a record of 24-3 and Rogers ended their year 13-14.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

East Ridge Raptors and New Prague Trojans Head for Class AAAA Fianls

If there's anything certain about Saturday's Class AAAA semifinal games at CHS Field in St. Paul, there will be a new state champion as the East Ridge Raptors scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning on errors to dethrone the defending champion Stillwater Ponies 6-5.  They will face the New Prague Trojans who got four hits and two runs from Joe Weiers as they fought off a robust Rogers Royals comeback with five runs in the top seventh inning to advance to t heir first state championship game with a 12-7 victory.

                                     EAST RIDGE 6, STILLWATER AREA 5 (8 INNINGS)
For the third time this season, the East Ridge Raptors and the Stillwater Ponies squared off, this time for a berth in the Class AAAA finals and it was the Woodbury based Raptors that clinched their first state title game berth as they scored two unearned runs to end Stillwater's championship reign 6-5.

The Raptors scored two runs in the top of the first inning on an RBI single by Roman Newitzki that scored Max Moris and Cam Hunter came home on a wild pitch by Will Frisch.  Frisch, who will be playing for Oregon State next season, though drafted by the Twins, would settle down in striking out five consecutive batters.

The Ponies were not locked in their stable for long as they took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Mitch Novak's squeeze bunt just outside the batter's box scored pinch runner Noah Potter, followed by Gavin Zurn's RBI single that scored Peter King, followed by a ground out to second base by  Jonathan Koehn that scored Novak.

East Ridge would tie the game at three in the top of the fifth as Ben North's RBI single scored Carter Seidl.  The Raptors would go up 4-3 in the top of the sixth on Frisch's throwing error that scored Newinski.  Stillwater sent the game into extra innings on Kade Peloquin's RBI single that scored Nicholas Seeman.  On to the eighth.

The Raptors would score twice in the top of the eighth.  North would cross the plate on an error Stillwater catcjer Logan Jordan and Joe Trollen would increase the lead, scoring on a throwing error by relief pitcher Matt Moore. The Ponies would score one run in the bottom of the eight as Koehn reached base on an error  by third baseman Seidl but it wasn't enough to overtake East Ridge.

Frisch, in six innings would strike out 11 batters.

                            NEW PRAGUE 12, ROGERS 7
The cinderella story of the Rogers Royals, who came to St. Paul with an 11-13 record came to an end as New Prague, playing in their first state tournament since 1980 pulled away with five runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat the Royals 12-7.

Cade Pavek put the Trojans ahead in the top of the first on an RBI single that scored Drew Picka.  The Royals took the lead with two in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles from Reed Olson and Carter VanEngel.

New Prague regained the lead in the top of the second as Austin Shingeldecker's throwing error scored Jake Deutsch and Weiers. They would add three runs in the top of the fifth, two coming on Pavek's double.

But Rogers would come close in the bottom of the sixth with five runs as Chase LaMotte doubled in two runs and a single from Jonah Mauerer accounted for another two to cut the lead to 8-7.  Could there be another miracle for the growing northwest suburb?

The answer would be no as New Prague would add four runs to their ledge as Weiers got his fourth hit of the game with an RBI single, Spencer Kajer's single added two more and Collin Dorinski shut the door for the Royals with an RBI single.

The Trojans improved their record to 18-8 and the Raptors 20-6.  They will play for the Class AAAA on Thursday, June 20 at 7 PM at Target Field.  The Ponies fell to 23-3 and the Royals dropped to 12-14.  They would meet in the third place game to wrap up the day's festivities.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

In Memory of Robert Earle

He was known as "The Man With the Questions."  From 1962 to 1970 Robert Earle asked very bright students tough questions on the hit network quiz show GE College Bowl, taking over for original host Allen Ludden.

On June 5, Earle passed away at the age of 93.

When Ludden left College Bowl to focus on the classic word game Password, the producers needed a new host.  Earle, who worked for GE after serving as a professor of radio and TV at Ithaca College in New York pursued the opportunity in an unusual audition.  He taped an episode with Ludden asking the questions and set up a lecturn in the Ithaca College TV studio so he could insert himself into the tape.  After he finished the show, he sent the audition tape to producers Don Reid, John Moses and Jack Cleary.  They liked what they saw.  Earle became the new host of College Bowl in the fall of 1962.

Earle would turn out to be the perfect moderator for the show.  His warm manner and some resemblance to Ludden was a plus.

Also, Earle had a background in broadcasting.  He started out in radio in Syracuse, NY and became the news anchor at WKTV in Utica.  One young broadcaster who was influenced by Earle, who would tape the news before going on the air was Dick Clark.  Clark would go on to greater fame as the host of American Bandstand and various Pyramid incarnations from 1973-1988.

Unfortunately, Earle would not host another game show after the GE College Bowl left the air in 1970.  He did host a pilot for a game show titled King of the Hill but like many pilots, it was not picked up.  He would also do the voiceovers for many commercials, including Lincoln-Mercury.

But Earle will be remembered by many game show fans as "The Man With the Questions."  May he rest in peace.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars End Season With Shutout

The 2019 boys lacrosse regular season came to an end Thursday afternoon as the Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars got four goals from Max Ritchie that led them to a 20-0 shut out of the host St. Louis Park Orioles.

The Jaguars displayed outstanding passing and ball control that led to 11 first period goals.  Carson Jacobs began the scoring on a centering pass from Garrett Lowe Aydan Rathsabandith :30 later.  Tommy McNamara would line a bounce shot to the net to extend the lead to three.  Jefferson got scoring balance with five goals in a span of 2:44.  Ritchie would score his first goal, then came Jack Vipond, Rathsabandith, Parker Boone and Lowe.  The Jaguars were not finished yet as Reed Ringquist would put them ahead by 10 and Rathsabandith made a pass to Ritchie and he scored with :49 left in the quarter.

Superb passing would play a role in the second quarter for Jefferson as they added seven goals.  Benny Henry fed Gavin Svensson inside the slot and he would tally for goal number 12.  Stone Payer would feed Julian Kidd and Kidd found the net.  Ritchie would get the hat trick for Jefferson.  As for St. Louis Park, they were held hostage in their own end by a swarm of Columbia blue and white jerseys.  However, defense would pay the consequences for the Orioles while goalie Noah Houser was playing out of the net and Keegan Goodin made good with an empty net goal.  Kidd would pick up an assist when he made an outstanding pass to Sam Wallace at the top of the slot and Wallace lined it into the net.  Mcnamara and Boone would scored the next two goals to boost Jefferson's lead to 18-0 at halftime.

The Jaguars would conclude the scoring with two third quarter goals as the game entered running time.  Cody Ringquist lined a shot to the goal and Ritchie would pick up his fourth goal on a shot that was described by Park TV play by play man Bob Christianson as a "sky hook."  There was no scoring in the fourth quarter but St. Louis Park finally got a shot on goal with 10:10 left to play.

Jefferson concluded the regular season with a 10-3 record and enters Section 6 play next week.  St. Louis Park ended their regular season 0-13 and opens Section 5 action on Tuesday, May 28.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Bloomington Kennedy Eagles Spoil Senior Night for SLP Orioles

The Brothers Trenary, Thomas and Andrew combined for five goals and Joseph Workman had four assists to lead the Bloomington Kennedy Eagles to a 16-2 win over the host St. Louis Park Orioles on Senior Night Tuesday.

Luke Dosan began the scoring for the Eagles in the first quarter as he scored off a pass from Mason Phair.  The Orioles would tie the game :23 later on a line shot from OJ Hagar.  That would be the only good news for St. Louis Park as Kennedy would score five unanswered goals in the quarter.  Thomas Trenary and Workman would score two apiece and Connor Freiberg would score from the center slot to give the Eagles a 6-1 lead.

Kennedy would extend their scoring run to 10 in the second quarter Andrew Trenary would tally and Workman would pick up two straight assists as his passing help set up goals Peter Vodovnik and John Lane.  The Eagles added two more goals on passes from Andrew Trenary to Dosan and Thomas Trenary to extend the lead to 11-1 at halftime.

Andrew Trenary and Lane increase the Eagles unanswered string to 12 in the third quarter.  There would finally be good news for Oriole fans when Parker Brynildson ended the Kennedy scoring run after he caught an inside pass from Flynn Spano.  The Eagle lead would be 13-2 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Kennedy would add three goals to their ledger, starting with Kiran Haefel-Zastrow 1:05 into the quarter.  Freiberg and Connor Lynch would conclude the Eagle scoring as the game was played the rest of the way in running time.

At halftime, Noah Hauser and David Bryant were recognized in the Senior Night recognition ceremony.

Kennedy improved their record to 4-8 and wraps up the regular season on Thursday, May 23 as they head down Highway 77 to Apple Valley to face the Eastview Lightning at 6 PM.  St. Louis Park falls to 0-12 and also concludes the regular season on the 23rd, hosting the Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars at 5:30 PM.

Monday, May 20, 2019

SLP Orioles End Regular Season With Win Over Coon Rapids Cardinals

The St. Louis Park Orioles closed out the 2019 regular season with a three run fifth inning that led them to a 3-2 come from behind win over the Coon Rapids Cardinals Monday night at Derrick Keller Field at Dakota Park.

Both teams were scoreless through the first two innings,  Only one runner was in scoring position and it was the Cardinals Braden Farley who singled in the top of the second inning and stole second base.

Coon Rapids took the lead in the top of the third when Jackson Aurelius singled and scored on a throwing error by Drew Boyum that caused Antonio Manos to reach base.  Manos would cross the plate on Xavier Paar sacrifice fly to right fielder Aaron Sledge and the Cardinals built a two run lead.

However, the lead wouldn't last as errors would plague Coon Rapids in the bottom of the fifth inning.  Drew Boyum led off with a single, Jackson McClain walked and Aaron Ellingson singled.  But a wild throw enabled Drew Boyum and McClain to cross the plate to tie the game at two and errors by Logan Rotzien and Paar sent jack Wandmacher to second base.  St. Louis Park would vault into the lead on Anthony Odens' sacrifice fly that scored Ellingson.

Solid pitching would be the key in holding the Oriole lead in the sixth and seventh innings with Kristopher Hokenson on the mound in relief of Will Hannon, who replaced  starting pitcher Odens on the mound.  Hokenson did not give up a hit, but walked Ryan Garlick and pinch hitter Jack Arndt and they were both stranded at first base as the freshman pitcher struck out four batters to pick up the save.

Oriole catcher Sam Hunt left the game in the second inning due to an injured knee.

St. Louis Park concluded the regular season with a record of 12-8 and will enter Section 6AAAA tournament play on Friday, May 24 at Hopkins High School.  Conn Rapids falls to 6-11 and hosts the Osseo Orioles on Tuesday, May 21 at 4:30 PM.

Friday, May 17, 2019

A Senior Night Success For SLP Orioles

Friday night was Senior Night for the St. Louis Park girls lacrosse team but the future looks really bright for junior Sarah McCallon who scored six goals to lead the host Orioles 16-4 win over the Columbia Heights Hylanders.

Aliviah McClinton began the scoring for the Orioles as she lined a shot to the net.  Anna Nicholls would score on a free shot :32 later to put St. Louis Park ahead by two.  McCallon would score her first going, bulldozing through several Columbia Heights defenders and sent the ball to the goal.  The Hylanders would erase the zero from their portion of the scoreboard on a free shot goal from Aurora Wigley.  The Orioles would score three unanswered goals that started with Jarilyz Lopez, followed by Alyssa Barth's goal as he ball bounced off her stick and crossed the goal line.  Halle Weinmann would score from the left side to put St. Louis Park ahead 6-1.  But Columbia Heights wasn't done scoring in the first half.  They would get a goal from Jessica Zhagnay and Wigley would go around the right side of the net and put it past Oriole goalie Molly Hallett.  McCallon would wrap up the scoring  with her second goal that came from a centering pass by Lopez and St. Louis Park led 7-3 at halftime.

The Orioles would pull further ahead from the Hylanders in the second half with two straight goals from McClinton and Grace Lynch would go top shelf.  Columbia Heights would tally once in the second half as Wigley would get the hat trick :25 later.  McClinto would put on an outstanding shooting display, sending three balls into the net in a span of :39.  The third came on Lopez's second assist. The Orioles would get another hat trick, this time from Lynch as she scored a pair of goals.  McClinton would score her sixth goal of the game on another free shot with 1:40 remaining in the game.

Five St. Louis Park seniors were honored at halftime.  The two varsity seniors were Lynch and Weinmann.  The other three that played on the junior varsity team were Sam Shug, Estelle Tronson and Alexis Machoka.  In addition to playing lacrosse, Machoka is the current senior class president.

The Orioles improved their record to 5-5 and will head to Bloomington Kennedy on Tuesday, May 21 for a 6 PM game against the Eagles.  The Hylanders fell to 4-5 and will also be in action on the 21st, hosting the East Ridge Raptors at 6:15