Senior Babe Ruth: Aces season ends
The Rosemount Aces got one of three close games to go their way last week at the Senior Babe Ruth State Tournament in Eagan.
Rosemount got a tough draw in the opening round of the 10-team tournament and lost to Edina, 2-0, last Tuesday. Edina's pitcher fired a seven-inning perfect game, striking out 14 of 21 hitters he faced.
"That was a little disappointing. I don't think we got the bat on the ball as well as we could have," Rosemount coach Steve Lufkin said. "The kid threw a good game and kept our kids off balance. That was a big part of it."
Edina, which went on to reach the tournament championship game, scored single runs in the third and fifth against Rosemount starter Mitch Olson. The lefty allowed just four hits, including a double that scored the game's first run in the third, and struck out five in seven innings.
Rosemount stayed alive in the tournament by hanging on for a 9-8 victory over Bloomington in a loser's bracket game last Wednesday.
The Aces used five hits in a row to plate five runs and take a 5-1 lead in the top of the third inning. Chris Leske and Reese Richards each supplied doubles during the rally and Joe Waite capped off the inning with a two-run single.
A two-run single by Ryan Green in the top of the fifth extended the Rosemount lead to 7-1, but Bloomington answered with four in the bottom of the frame to make it 7-5.
Luke Cassell then pushed the lead back to 9-5 with a two-run double in the sixth.
Leske started on the mound for Rosemount and went the distance to pick up the win. He allowed three more runs over the final two innings, but got the final out with runners on the corners to preserve the win. He allowed all eight runs while striking out 10.
The Aces twice came from behind to tie the score Thursday against Lakeville North, but couldn't come up with a third rally as North advanced with a 4-3 win.
It was 2-0 North when Rosemount started the top of the third by drawing a pair of walks. Leske then followed with an RBI double and Zach Zaboj hit a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 2-2.
North took the lead back with a single run in the third, but Isaiah Lufkin singled and scored on a ground ball to make it 3-3.
North plated its fourth and final run against Rosemount starter Waite in the bottom of the fifth and shut down the Aces over the final two innings to close out the win.
The Aces finished the season with a record of 14-8.
"The kids had an outstanding season. They pulled together and played hard. It was a lot of fun to coach them," Lufkin said. "A few of the kids will play ball again going forward and this helped them get ready for that, but a lot of them were seniors that just wanted to play and they had fun and played well."