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August 17, 2022

6/17/2022 12:23:00 PM
Wildcat baseball season ends in championship game

Grand Rapids 9, Chisago Lakes 2
The Wildcats had a tall task heading into the Section 7AAA championship game against the top-seeded Grand Rapids Thunderhawks at Hermantown last Wednesday, June 8, having used up their top pitching to get there through the elimination bracket.  The Thunderhawks took an early 3-0 lead and put the game out for reach with a three-run sixth inning, beating the Wildcats 9-2.  The loss ended the season for the Wildcats and sent the Thunderhawks to the state tournament for the second straight season.

In the bottom of the second, an error with two outs led to three unearned runs for the Thunderhawks.  The Wildcats had a chance for a big inning in the top of the third.  Nick Wasko led off with a single.  Reed Marquardt followed with a single to right, sending courtesy runner Mitch Torgerson to third.  Marquardt stole second.  Joe Graeve singled to center to score Torgerson.  Graeve stole second.  Tyler Drury reached on an error, with Marquardt scoring to cut the Grand Rapids lead to 3-2.  Graeve held up at second. Collin Hackl struck out for the first out of the inning.  Traeson Griffin singled to center to load the bases.  The rally ended when Storm Opdahl grounded into a double play.

The Thunderhawks added a run in the third.  In the fourth, a two-run homer made the score 6-2.   In their final four innings at the plate, the Wildcats managed just one batter over the minimum, and hit into two more double plays.  The Thunderhawks added three runs in the sixth to make the score 9-2.

Jack Walker started for the Wildcats.  In three-plus innings, he allowed six runs – just two earned – on three hits, walked six and struck out two.  In three innings of relief, Lewis Thorstad allowed three runs – two earned – walked two and struck out two.  Ultimately, a shaky Wildcat defense was responsible for not allowing the Wildcats to keep the game close.  

A win today means the Wildcats will play June 10, either in the championship game, consolation championship game or third place game.

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