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Prep baseball: Grand Rapids runs out of comebacks against Benilde-St. Margaret's

Duluth Marshall rallied after its quarterfinal loss to win the AA consolation championship

High school boys in black and orange uniforms with white pants play baseball
Benjamin Keske fields a ground ball during the 7AAA Section championship game against Chisago Lakes on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, at Fichtner Field in Hermantown.
Clint Austin / File / Duluth News Tribune
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CHASKA — Grand Rapids sophomore Klous Jones hit a three-RBI double in the top of the third inning that gave the Thunderhawks a 6-4 lead in the Class AAA semifinal against Benilde-St. Margaret’s Wednesday.

Three innings later, Kyle Henke hit a two-RBI double off Indiana commit Caleb Koskie to give Grand Rapids an 8-7 lead.

With each timely hit, however, the Red Knights had an answer and with three runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth, BSM advanced to the state championship game with a 10-8 win at Chaska Athletic Park.

After allowing two runs in each of the first two innings, the Thunderhawks used two hits and three errors in the top of the third to plate six runs and take the lead.

Garret Drotts came on in relief of starter Easton Sjostrand in the third. He held BSM off the scoreboard in the next two innings, recording two strikeouts and getting Koskie to ground into an inning-ending double play in the fourth.

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In the fifth, however, Drotts walked the first three batters and the Red Raiders retook the lead off RBI singles from Tomas Lee and Dan Porisch.

Henke’s double gave Grand Rapids an 8-7 lead headed to the bottom of the sixth, but Lee picked up another RBI and BSM took a 10-8 lead.

Myles Gunderson hit a one-out single in the top of the seventh but Tyler Norgard hit into a game-ending double play.

BSM (23-3) will face Mankato West in the Class AAA championship game at 4 p.m. Friday at Target Field in Minneapolis.

  • Grand Rapids went straight from the semifinals to the third-place game against Alexandria. The Thunderhawks led 2-0 early but gave up 13 of the next 14 runs, culminating in a 13-3 six-inning defeat.

Henke and Gunderson led the Thunderhawks, going 2-for-3. Henke had a double and Gunderson two doubles.
Nolan Svatos allowed seven runs (four earned) and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings, taking the loss. He struck out two and walked four.

For Alexandria, Brock Lerfald, Jonathan Hennen and Lake Hagen-Koelbl had two hits apiece for Alexandria. Parker Jendro got the win, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits.

The Thunderhawks finish 2022 with a 17-8 record.

Hilltoppers win consolation bracket

Duluth Marshall concluded its baseball season with two wins and a finish atop the consolation bracket in Class AA.

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The Hilltoppers took down Watertown-Mayer 8-4 in the consolation bracket, scoring five times in the third inning to take control. Each of the top four hitters in the lineup finished with at least two hits, including a 3-for-4 with two RBIs from Carter Boos. Mason Boos had a pair of doubles.

Carter Boos pitched a complete game, allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits. He struck out three and walked two.

In the consolation final, Marshall defeated Wadena-Deer Creek 5-4, coming from 4-0 down at the game's halfway point.

Ethen Carlson pitched a complete game, allowing four earned runs while scattering eight hits. He struck out nine and walked three. Owen Marsolek led the Marshall offense, going 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

Marshall finishes the season 19-6.

  • South Ridge was defeated 8-4 by New Ulm Cathedral in the Class A consolation semifinal, giving up five runs in the top of the fifth to lose control of the contest.

Wyatt Olson was 3-for-4 with two doubles. Carter Anderson, Aaron Bennett and Josiah Deloach all finished with two hits. Bennett took the loss, allowing six runs (one earned) on four hits in 4 1/3 innings for the Panthers (22-5).

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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