Senior Babe Ruth short on players at state
Just when the Rosemount Senior Babe Ruth baseball team started to play well, it ran out of players.
After a 10-0 first-round loss to eventual champion Minnetonka last Wednesday sent them to the loser's bracket, Rosemount bounced back by blowing out Apple Valley 15-5 on Thursday. Friday's entire slate of games was rained out, which pushed Rosemount's third game against Champlin Park to Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and created some roster issues. A roster of 10 players quickly turned into eight as one player got sick and another had prior obligations, forcing the first-year Rosemount team to forfeit in its first state tournament appearance.
"The team was frustrated, but they handled themselves well," Rosemount coach Brett Thaden said.
The Senior Babe Ruth team finished 8-7 in its inaugural season. The team finished above .500 despite a schedule that featured two games against eventual state runner-up Eastview, two against Eagan and one game apiece against state teams Minnetonka, Burnsville and Apple Valley.
"That shows something about our strength of schedule," Thaden said. "Half of our schedule was against state tournament teams."
Minnetonka ended up coming out of the loser's bracket to defeat Eastview twice in the championship round.
Rosemount 15, Apple Valley 5
Rosemount scored early and often in Thursday loser's bracket matchup against Apple Valley.
The offense produced two runs in the first and two in the second before pulling away with seven runs in the fifth inning of an eventual 15-5 win.
Ryan Green paced Rosemount with four hits and Reese Richards, Kyle Breitinger and Luke Cassell each ripped two hits.
"We looked like a completely different team. In the state tournament you have to come out with a little bit different of an edge and focus than you ordinarily have," Thaden said. "We didn't do it against Minnetonka, but we did against Apple Valley."
Starter Jake Schulze took advantage of the run support and picked up the win, holding Apple Valley to two runs (one earned) on three hits while striking out eight.
Minnetonka 10, Rosemount 0
Minnetonka's clean-up hitter mashed a long home run in the first inning that set the tone for the eventual champions in their 10-0 first-round victory last Wednesday.
Mitch Olson started and took the loss, striking out four while his defense committed five errors behind him.
Rosemount managed just three hits in the loss.