Townball team one step from Class B state tourney
The Forest Lake Brewers’ sixth consecutive win sealed a trip to the Minnesota Baseball Association Super Sectionals. The 7-4 victory over Isanti on Saturday clinched one of Section 2’s two tickets to the Class B round of 16.
Though the Brewers went on to lose to Isanti twice in Sunday’s seeding games, the squad will now head to Elko for a four-team, double-elimination tournament held this Friday through Sunday. Two teams will advance to the state tournament set to begin Aug. 24 in St. Cloud.
“I was really happy with how we played during the tournament,” said manager Adam Gallatin. “We took care of business in our first two games and earned a trip to the next round… It was fun to see. I’m really excited to play next weekend.”
Forest Lake will open Super Sectional play against Dundas, the top seed from Section 1. The Dukes (26-12) have won four state titles, most recently in 1999. They were state runners-up in 2003, 2008 and 2010.
The other matchup at Elko’s Fredrickson Field pits Metro Minny League member Coon Rapids, the Section 8 champ, against Sauk Rapids, the second seed from Section 7.
The state qualifiers will be determined on Saturday and will face off for the Super Sectional title on Sunday.
Section 2 Recap
Forest Lake shut out St. Francis in the first round of the Section 2 tournament on Aug. 4. The tourney hosts stayed hot on Saturday, avenging two regular-season losses to the 2011 Class C state champs from Isanti. The Brewers got a strong outing from starter Travis Evgen, overcame four errors and mashed 14 hits.
Evgen allowed four runs – two earned – on six hits over 7.1 innings. Trip Schultz earned the save.
“Isanti hits the ball a ton and for Travis and Trip to pitch so well was a huge lift,” Gallatin said. “We have been really swinging well lately. We faced Isanti’s ace [Joe Ramberg] and had 14 hits.”
Lead-off man Brent Kolbow had three hits and Luke Schultz, Jeff Brooks, Drew Cremisino and Mark Miron had two apiece.
A moment of silence took place in the seventh inning in honor of Bob Johnson, who passed away last Wednesday. Johnson was a longtime Brewers fan and the grandfather of team veteran Alex Johnson.
On Sunday, Forest Lake fell to Isanti by scores of 10-3 and 9-8.