Sontag belts walk-off homer vs St. Michael
Sontag belts walk-off homer vs St. Michael
Chisago Lakes 17, Cambridge-Isanti 0 (5 innings)
In the first of two games at Cambridge on Tuesday, May 13, the Wildcats crushed the Bluejackets 17-0. The Wildcats led 10-0 after four innings and put some icing on the cake with seven more runs in the top of the fifth. The game was shortened to five innings because of the ten run rule. The Wildcats pounded out 15 hits in the shutout win. Mark Sontag led the hit parade with a triple, a home run and four RBIs. Matt Hasselquist homered and drove in two. Mike Dunne and Louis Kastenbauer each had two hits and drove in two runs. Gabe Gustafson single twice. Gustafson, Kyle Graeve, Tyler Smith, Noah Taylor and Tim Abrahamson each had one RBI in the rout. Cambridge Isanti 4, Chisago Lakes 2 In the second game on Tuesday, Cambridge-Isanti scored two runs in the top of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie and beat the Wildcat 4-2. Matt Hasselquist pitched the first three innings for the Wildcats. He gave up seven hits and four walks, but battled hard and allowed just two runs, one earned. Louis Kastenbauer pitched the next three innings, allowing no runs on just one hit. He walked three, but struck out four. Mark Sontag pitched the seventh, allowing the game winning two run homer to Jacob Sylvester Hasselquist drove in Will Gillach with a groundout in the first inning and scored in the fourth on a single by Noah Taylor, which tied the game at 2-2.
Chisago Lakes 8, North Branch 3
Matt Hasselquist homered twice and Kellen Reed also homered, leading the Wildcats to an 8-3 win over the Vikings last Thursday, May 15. Hasselquist hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to put the Wildcats up 1-0. The Vikings tied it up in the second. Logan Mueller singled and later scored on Trey O’Day’s double to tie the score at 1-1. In the bottom of the third, Will Gillach led off with a single and came around to score on Joe Kimlinger’s single. Hasselquist blasted 2-2 pitch to left center to drive in Kimlinger and put the Wildcats up 4-1. The next batter, Reed, also homered on a 2-2 pitch, putting the Wildcats up 5-1. In the fifth, Hasselquist singled and Reed was hit by a pitch. With one out, Hasselquist scored on a groundout by Gabe Gustafson. Reed scored on Mike Dunne’s double and the Wildcats led 7-1. Tyler Dolin hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth for the Vikings and Charlie Linder drove in Brandon Steffenson with a groundout in the top of the seventh to cut the Wildcat lead to 7-3.
But Michael Hensch grounded out for the Vikings to end the game. For the Wildcats, Tyler Smith, Mark Sontag and Noah Taylor combined for the win, allowing five hits, three runs (two earned), walking none and striking out seven. For the Vikings, Tyler Dolin and JT Hunziker combined to allow 11 hits, walked just one and struck out two. Chisago Lakes 11, St. Paul Central 1 5 innings) Tim Abrahamson’s three-run double highlighted a six run third inning as the Wildcats overwhelmed St. Paul Central 11-1. The game, played at Chisago Lakes on Friday, May 16, was shortened to five innings because of the ten run rule. The Wildcats continued to hit the ball out of the park, with Matt Hasselquist and Kellen Reed each homering in this one. Reed also tripled. Louis Kastenbauer doubled and drove in two runs. Sam Birkholz also doubled. Will Gillach, Gabe Gustafson, Mark Sontag, Hasselquist and Reed each had one RBI for the Wildcats. Starting pitcher Tyler Smith allowed just one earned run on three hits, walked one and struck out two in four innings. Mike Dunne finished up with a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Mahtomedi 7, Chisago Lakes 3
Mahtomedi scored three times in the third inning to increase their lead to 5-0 and hung on for a 7-4 win over the Wildcats on Saturday, May 17 at Mahtomedi. Louis Kastenbauer’s two-run single in the top of the fourth cut the Zephyr lead to 5-2, but that was as close as they got. Gabe Gustafson drove in the Wildcats’ other run with a single in the top of the fifth. Mark Sontag had the Wildcats’ only extra base hit. He led off the second inning with a triple to center, but was stranded at third. It was the first of two games the Wildcats played on Saturday.
Chisago Lakes 6, St. Michael-Albertville 5
Mark Sontag hit a walk-off three run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the Wildcats to a thrilling 6-5 win over conference foe St. Michael-Albertville on Saturday, May 17 at Chisago Lakes. It was Sontag’s fourth home run of the season. The Knights led 4-2 going into the top of the sixth inning and, because of some shoddy baserunning, blew a chance to blow the game open. With runners on first and second and one out, a Knight batter hit a ground ball to third. Wildcat third baseman Mitch Berg threw the ball to first for the out. The Knight runner who had taken third rounded the base too far. Wildcat first baseman Kellen Reed threw to third, trapping the runner off the base. The Wildcats tagged him out in a rundown for the second out of the inning, with the other Knight baserunner taking third on the play. The next batter walked.
On the first pitch to the subsequent batter, the ball bounced in front of the plate. Wildcat catcher Matt Hasselquist blocked it, and the ball rolled about 15 feet to the right of the plate. As Hasselquist ran over to pick it up, the runner on third hesitated for half a second and then took off. The pitcher rushed to cover the plate, but Hasselquist didn’t even have to make a throw. He ran back over to the plate and easily tagged out the Knight runner for the third out of the inning. The Wildcats trailed 5-3 entering the bottom of the seventh. Will Gillach popped out to second for the first out. Colton Mueller singled up the middle. Matt Hasselquist flied out to center for the second out. Apparently not wanting Kellen Reed to hit a home run that could tie the game, the Knight pitcher appeared to intentionally hit Reed with a fastball.
He was heard to mutter “no big deal”, and the Knight players and fans seemed pretty fired up. Apparently they didn’t know that Sontag had shown quite a bit of power, with three home runs to that point in the season. Wildcat fan Dave Reed remarked to a local reporter, “I think we’re going to see a walk off homer here.” Seconds later, the Knight pitcher threw a low fastball over the inside corner and Sontag drilled a line drive to straightaway left that quickly disappeared over the fence for a three run homer and the most thrilling win yet in what’s turning into a great season for the Wildcats. Noah Taylor drove in the Wildcats’ first run with a second inning groundout. Gillach scored to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead when Matt Hasselquist reached on an error. The Knights scored two runs in the fourth and fifth innings to go up 5-2.
Mitch Berg singled home Sontag in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to 5-3 and set the stage for Sontag’s big blast. The Wildcats (12-3 overall, 8-2 conference, 6-1 section), will play their last regular season game today at Princeton at 4:30 p.m. Section tournament seedings have not yet been determined, but based on the Wildcats’ current ranking of third in the QRF standings in the 12-team Section 7AAA, they should get a bye for the play-in round next Monday, May 26. They should get a home playoff game next Thursday, May 29. In addition to the results of any games played this week, we will have a preview of the section playoffs in next week’s Chisago County Press.