The second Minnesota college no-hitter of the year. Gus Varland from Concordia (the Saint Paul one) tossed a 7 inning no-no versus Southwest Minnesota State University this weekend. I guess it was pretty cold but he must have been dirty. He had 14 K’s in 7 IP. That is at least 2 K’s an inning.
Maybe is was so cold the SMSU hitters didn’t want to make contact. Either way, impressive.
Ok this isn’t exactly recent news but I forgot to write about it when it happened. This is notable as Nick is a graduate of Prior Lake. Memphis is a pretty big time DI school so I think it is cool that Nick hit a bomb while wearing their uniform. Congrats Nick, I knew you had it in you.
What bothers me is that every time I see Nick now he has this cheesy southern accent. Like living for 12 months out of the last 20 in the south suddenly caused him to speak with a drawl. While admittedly this homerun is impressive, you will have to hit a lot more than that Nick to get away with that accent. Anyway, here is a link to the video from the Memphis Baseball Twitter page.
South Dakota State University gets a fair amount of players from Minnesota. Probably because barely anybody lives there. Today the Jackrabbits surprised everyone by beating perennial powerhouse and the #18 nationally ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Now I wasn’t at the game, but Okie State had four sacrifice bunts and only scored one run. Maybe they should think about swinging away once in a while. Maybe I will talk about that in another post.
In this post lets talk about Chanhassen native Nick Smith. The scrappy sophomore got a hit, stole a base and then scored what would eventually be the winning run in the game. Congrats Nick. This is not all that surprising as this is the kind of thing that Nick has been doing since he was a young lad. Nick was a member of the state champion Chanhassen baseball team 2 years ago and is continuing his success at SDSU. He is currently the teams leading hitter with a .422 average through 11 games and is 4-4 in stolen base attempts.
Nick is joined on SDSU by fellow Minnesotans Tony Kjolsing (Chaska), Ryan Froom (Saint Louis Park), Ian Cote (Minnetonka), Luke Ringhofer (East Ridge), Mark Sontag (Chisago Lakes), Marcus Hahn (Hutchinson), Hunter Even (Chanhassen), Jake Thompson (Albert Lea), and Skyler Wenninger (Luverne). You can see all these Minnesotans play against the Gophers on April 18th at Seibert Field at 6pm.
Lots of cool college baseball stuff has been going on already this season. Lots of action at the cool new US Bank field, NDSU beat the Gophers, and Nick Noack threw a no hit shutout win to open the season for the number 29 nationally ranked St. Johns Johnnies.
I decided I would highlight a Minnesota native playing down in Texas for Division I Stephen F. Austin University. Tony Grabowske is a graduate of Irondale high school and attended North Iowa Area Community College. Even though he is only like 5’9″ when he is wearing his big boy shoes, he throws gas. It is pretty rare for a kid from MN to end up pitching at a Div. I Texas school, let alone a kid who doesn’t get to 6′ on his tippy toes. Despite all this he has a 2-1 record and has recorded 10 K’s in each of his last two starts. That is dealing. Check out the game recaps here on the Stephen F. Austin website.
Wow time flies when there is barely any snow during the winter. The big leaguers are in spring training and the college boys have already started. maybe I should start writing again.
First, Congrats to last years state tourney winners. The first title for the class C Raymond Rockets, the sixth title for the class B Meisville Mudhens, and the 113th title for the class A Minnetonka Millers. OK, it is only the 13th title but sheesh.
Anyway, tune in and I will start talking about the college boys if they can break away from the Xbox long enough to play baseball games.
In case you didn’t see, former St Thomas pitcher Eric Veglahn just got his contract purchased from the St Paul Saints by the Toronto Blue Jays. Cool.
Here is the story on the Saints page
The last two innings of the Sharks and Diesel were finished before the rain. the Sharks put up 6 runs in the top of the ninth and the game finished 11-4.
Then it rained. A lot. Games will recommence at 10 am Saturday. Or not. Because it is supposed to rain even more.
Big goings on in town ball this weekend…
The class A tourney recommences Friday night at 6 pm as the Shark and Diesel finish their suspended game. Followed by Park versus the loser. The tourney will last through the weekend with all games at Red Haddox field in Bloomington.
The class B tourney gets rolling in Litchfield this weekend as well. The first game is Saturday at 11 am as Duluth takes on Blaine. Games will be going on all day in Litchfield.
The mammoth class C tourney also gets underway Friday with Roseau taking on Winsted in Hutchinson at 730 and Raymond taking on Delano in Dassel also at 730. There will follow a boatload of games over the weekend in those two cities.
Go to a game and watch players who try hard cause they just don’t want to let down their teammates.
As I said in my last post, anything can and will happen at the state tourney. I already mentioned that the Cobras eliminated the Bloomington Bandits and the Park Pirates eliminated the Lakers, here is what else went on.
In the other elimination games the Tri City Shark eliminated the Saint Paul Shamrocks. I don’t remember the score but I think it was close, like maybe 5-3. I went to a concert that night and don’t really remember much, except that some total stranger lady next to me grabbed me by the throat and tried to kiss me. That wouldn’t seem bad but she had just picked a beer up off the ground and drank it after her pug had been licking the can. Security told me later that she had said her pug was a service dog and that is how she got it inside in the first place. Sorry, I digress.
In the second elimination game Kelley Fuels Diesel hit a walk off home run with 2 outs in the ninth to bump off the Saint Anthony Hogs. I wasn’t there for that one either but that must have been super exciting for some people.
On to the eight team double elimination portion of the tourney.
The first two games were sort of ho hum. The Continental Diamond Cutters were able to stave off the mighty Cobra bats and hang on for an 8-5 win. Then The Saint Paul Capitals capitalized (see what I did there) on Parks bad defense while Kubitschek was able to strand a runner a two an inning for a complete game victory 6-1.
Then the Sharknado beat Schuld (did I predict that? I don’t remember) and the Angels and I am pretty positive that game was 5-3.
Kelley Fuels Diesel kept up their dark horse run and pretty much crushed the Millers 7-1.
The losers bracket games started out with Park beating the Cobras 6-4 behind a two home run performance by shortstop Mike Lueck. The Snakes were eliminated.
Then the Millers rebounded and eliminated the Angels 4-2.
In the first winner bracket game tonight it looks like the Capitals fell to the Cutters 5-2 behind some fancy pitching.
Then the Shark were leading 5-4 over Diesel when the game was postponed in the 8th because…I really don’t know.
There you have it!
This is the 21st class A tournament that I have participated in and what I have learned in that time is that anything can happen. Here are the results from yesterdays games.
Two team who are mostly known for tagging the ball all over the yard had a pitchers duel. The Minneapolis Cobras eventually took it home and defeated the Bloomington Bandits 4-2 in a well played game. Bandits eliminated.
The Saint Louis Park Pirates went down 7-0 after 3 innings as the Minneapolis Lakers were knocking the cover off the ball. Park started doing some hitting themselves and eventually won the slugfest 11-8. Lakers eliminated.
The tourney continues tonight at 6 pm at Red Haddox in Bloomington. Come out and watch the Saint Paul Shamrocks take on the Tri City Sharks followed by the Saint Anthony Hogs and Kelley Fuels Diesel.