Junior Mason Lane allowed just two hits and struck out nine as South Ridge topped Ely 9-0 in the second game of the Section 7A championship Thursday at Wade Stadium.
South Ridge scored nine runs on just six hits to secure the win and a second consecutive trip to the state tournament.
Junior Matt Clark hit a two-RBI double in the second inning to extend the South Ridge lead to 8-0.
Ely forced South Ridge to play a second game with a 9-8 win in the first game of the day. The Timberwolves scored a run in each of the first four innings and then put five on the board in the fifth, powered by a three-run double from Trevor Mattson that gave the Timberwolves a 9-2 lead.
South Ridge started to figure out the Ely pitchers late in the first game, though, scoring four in the bottom of the fifth, sparked by Panther freshman Jaxson Bennett’s own three-RBI double. The Panthers scored two more in the sixth, but couldn’t tie the game.
The trend continued in the second game, with South Ridge putting more balls in play and Lane keeping Ely batters off the base paths.
South Ridge, which finished fourth at the 2018 state tournament, will play its Class A quarterfinal next Thursday at the Mini Met in Jordan.
Northland players ousted
The Duluth East doubles team of Nolan Humphreys and Michael Sutherland had hoped to meet Edina’s third-seeded duo of Luke Westholder and Otto Schreiner in the Class AA state doubles tournament.
They got their wish, only it was in a consolation match.
Humphreys and Sutherland were beaten 0-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the opening round by Wayzata’s Sanjit Shah and Jayho Hong, then had their day at the Baseline Tennis Center in Minneapolis come to an end with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to the Edina pairing.
All Class A Northland players lost in the first round.
Cloquet senior Peter Tomhave fell 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 to Thief River Falls’ Camden Broadwell and then dropped his singles consolation match as well.
Eveleth-Gilbert’s Rob Licari was swept by Breck’s Ishan Nadkarni 6-0, 6-0 and dropped into the consolation round.
In doubles action, Hibbing’s Carter Anderson and Ryan Osborne lost their first-round match in straight sets to Rochester Lourdes’ Jonathan Onigkeit and Thomas Eckel before rebounding to win their consolation match.
Likewise, Virginia’s Ryan Scherf and Jace Westerbur lost in straight sets to Bailey More and Liam Dixon of St.Peter before capturing their consolation match to ensure a return trip to finish consolation play today.