Pipers prevail in finale
The Rosemount Pipers finally found the offense they had been missing during a four-game losing streak.
Having plated just eight runs in the last four games, the Pipers put up seven on 13 hits in Sunday afternoon’s regular season finale at Dakota County Technical College in a 7-2 victory over the Minnetonka Saints. The win evened Rosemount’s record at 8-8 in the North Star Classic Baseball League and knocked the Saints (12-6) out of first place, giving the regular season championship to the 13-5 Burnsville Bulldogs.
All three teams will be in action this weekend at the NSCBL state tournament, which begins Friday at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville.
“We got back to solid defense and timely hitting, which will hopefully carry into the state tournament,” Rosemount player/manager Ken Fry said.
While the Pipers’ hitting struggled over the last couple weeks, their pitching continued to excel. Since a 12-0 loss to Burnsville on July 2, the Pipers staff has allowed 16 runs in seven games. Left-hander Jesse Riebel started on Sunday and held the Saints to one run while striking out five over the first five innings. Reliever Josh Wigley gave up one run over the final two innings.
“Riebel pitched as well as I’ve seen in the past two years. He controlled the game the first five innings,” Fry said.
The Saints scored first with a walk and a bloop single in the top of the first, but the Pipers quickly answered. Bobby Downs led off the bottom of the inning with a walk and scored on Charlie Borrell’s ground out. Two innings later, Borrell drove in the go-ahead run after a Chris Schwab double.
The Pipers put the game away with four runs in the fourth. Greg LeVon, Riebel and Wigley started the inning with three straight singles, and after a pair of walks Fry lifted a sacrifice fly to left and Borrell ripped another RBI single.
Borrell closed out a three-hit, four RBI day with another RBI single in the sixth, upping his team-leading batting average to .467 and his RBI total to 13.
Schwab, Fry and Riebel each added a pair of hits. Downs singled, walked twice and scored three runs.