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Black Sox lose two of three games with playoffs looming

Rosemount Black Sox coach Matt Tschida knew what was in store for his team heading into last week.

"This might be our toughest week of the season," Tschida mentioned last week.

On the schedule were games with Savage, Elko and Austin, three state tournament teams from last season.

"They're three of the better teams we will face all year," Tschida said this week. "I think they only average about two losses."

Savage currently leads the Cannon Valley League with a 9-1 record in league play. Rosemount is third with a 6-6 mark. With all three games on the road, it made the going even tougher for the Black Sox (14-10, 6-6 Cannon Valley).

Rosemount dropped two of the three games, losing 7-1 against Savage and 6-4 to Austin, with a 7-2 win against Elko coming in the middle game.

The win against Elko could potentially be important in the section standings.

Savage is on top of the section with a 10-1 record. Burnsville is second at 9-3, while Elko is 5-4, percentage points ahead of Rosemount's 7-6 mark.

"We pretty much know we're going to finish third or fourth in the section," Tschida said. "It means we would face Eagan or Lakeville. We have three games left. If our offense is clicking like it has been the last couple of games, we'll be OK going into the playoffs.

"We're basically tied with Elko right now and we have the tiebreaker, but it still depends on how they finish and how we finish. It goes on winning percentage. They have a handful less games than we do, so it will be interesting to see how it works out."

Rosemount did its part by beating Elko twice this season.

Last week, the Black Sox blew open a close game with three runs apiece in the eighth and ninth innings.

The top and middle parts of the order did their job. Each of the first six hitters had a hit and either scored or drove in a run. The six combined for all of the team's 10 hits.

Tschida, Loren Sjoquist, Lance Anderson, and Justin Wallace each had two hits.

Anderson drove in two runs, while Tschida and Sjoquist each scored twice.

Moved back into the No. 2 spot in the order, Dylan Porter went 1 for 2 with a run scored.

"We moved Dylan back to the two hole because he's been pretty hot and it gives us some speed at the top of the lineup and we can put pressure on the defense. Everyone at the top was hitting and it became contagious. It's kind of fun doing that. We haven't had an offensive game like that for a while."

The runs proved to be more than enough for Wallace, who got the start on the mound.

He threw a complete game, allowing two unearned runs and struck out eight.

"He did a good job of stopping our mini losing streak there," Tschida said. "He came back on short days rest and pitched very well."

The Black Sox had lost four in a row before beating Elko.

Tschida, Porter and Sjoquist each had two hits in the loss to Austin, which was delayed by rain.

Fan appreciation day

The Black Sox will host a fan appreciation day on Saturday, June 24.

Rosemount plays host to Eagan in the final home game of the regular season.

Following the game, Black Sox players and coaches will cook complimentary hot dogs, bratwurst and hamburgers in the upper parking lot above the field for any fans that would like to attend and interact with the team.