The Faribault Lakers and Mora Blue Devils combined for eight errors in a 8-0 Lakers victory in New Prague Sunday.  Faribault ace Matt Lane tossed 7 innings of 3 hit ball and Jack Helgeson finished the game on the hill.  Lane struck out 8 and walked 1 while throwling 108 pitches, 77 strikes.  Helgeson threw 30 pitches, 22 strikes with 3 strikeouts and 1 hit allowed.  Mora had three pitchers toe the rubber in the Class C State Amateur Baseball Tournament game.

With the win the Lakers joined fellow Dakota-Rice-Scott League teams New Market and New Prague to advance to the tournament's final weekend.  Faribault will play Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. against perennial power Plato in New Prague. The Plato Blue Jays defeated Luxemburg 1-0 in Shakopee with veteran Chris Odegard picking up the victory.  Odegard had two doubles and knocked in the only run of the game while striking out 8 Brewers.

Faribault right fielder Derek Ritter opened the second inning by walking against Blue Devils starter Derek Graves.  During the Dylan Valentyn at bat Ritter stole second base.  With one out number nine hitter Porter Sartor took an 0-2 pitch and hit the ball to center.  Ritter went back to second just in case the center fielder made a great catch and gained third base when the ball dropped in but the Lakers were in business with runners at the corners and one out. Sartor ran for second base and rather than cut the ball off the Blue Devils second baseman let the ball go through and it skipped into center field scoring Ritter for the first run of the game. Sartor was at third base.  Blake Langerud hit a 1-2 pitch to the outfield for a sacrifice fly RBI and a crooked number was on the board for Faribault.

The Lakers added two more runs in the fifth inning.  With two outs they tallied three straight hits.  Singles by Mitch Johnson and Joey Grote in front of a screaming opposite field double off the bat of Lane.

Faribault plated a run in the 7th inning without the benefit of a hit.  Grote struck out but the ball got away from the catcher and the Lakers shortstop was at first base with one out.  In the Lane at bat another pitch got away from the Blue Devils catcher and went all the way to the concrete base of the grandstand.  Grote never stopped running and went to third base.  Lane had a 2-0 count and Mora elected to give him an intentional pass to set up a possible double play.  Ryan Archambault hit a 1-1 pitch to the outfield scoring Grote and Faribault was up 5-0.

The Lakers Ritter opened the 8th inning by hitting a 0-2 pitch to shortstop.  He was safe on an error.  Valentyn had a 8 pitch at bat resulting in a walk.  Porter Sartor hit a 1-1 pitch to third base and Ritter was retired at third.  Langerud was retired on a bunt back to the pitcher.  Johnson was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Grote stroked a bases clearing double to make it 8-0.

Faribault picked up their 21st win of the season and Mora dropped to 19-7 to end their season.

Our Faribault State Farm Insurance agents Faribault players of the game courtesy of Tony Langerud and Jason Krohn were Lane, Grote and Ritter.  Grote scored twice, had the hustle play to get to third in the 7th and the bases clearing double for his second hit of the game.  Lane not only threw a three hit shutout despite four errors but had the 2 RBI double in fifth to double the lead.  Ritter was on base three times with a stolen base, run scored and hit in the victory.

The Lakers finished the game with 6 hits.  They left 8 runners on base, 4 in scoring position.  The Blue Devils stranded 10 runners on base and 5 in scoring position.

Earlier in the day in New Prague, Faribault High School graduate Nate Rost picked up the 4-3 win for New Market over Fort Ripley.  Rost struck out 10 and walked no batters while giving up 8 hits in 7 innings and 2 earned runs.  He also had 3 hits including a double and 3 RBI.

Derek Bergstrom pitched the final two innings for a save and the Region 3C champs will play Maple Lake Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in Shakopee

New Prague got a terrific pitching performance from Nathan Sprouls in a 3-0 win over the Hanska Lakers.  The Rosemount native struck out 9 batters, walked 2 and scattered 4 hits in 8 innings of work.  Draftee Dan Feneis of Union Hill tossed the ninth inning for the save.

The Orioles play defending State Champion Kimball in New Prague Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

In Shakopee Lake City defeated the Milroy Yankees 4-1 and joined fellow Region 5 representative Red Wing in the sweet sixteen.  The Serpents face the Buckman Billy Goats in Shakopee at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.  Red Wing will play Sartell at 11:00 a.m. Saturday in New Prague.

Five of the eight winners Saturday were Region title holders, so 6 of the sweet 16 are Region champions.

New Prague Memorial Park. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld