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Baseball: Pipers capture NSCBL state title

The Rosemount Pipers won the North Star Classic Baseball League Class A 35-over championship Sunday in Cold Spring.

A streaky first season ended with a state title for the Rosemount Pipers.

The Pipers came out of the consolation bracket behind two straight strong outings from Dan Hegberg to capture the North Star Classic Baseball League Class A 35-over championship Sunday in Cold Spring.

After a 6-4 loss to Watertown in the semifinals on Saturday, the Pipers earned a rematch by crushing St. Paul’s finest 12-1. Hegberg allowed one run on two hits in 4 1/3 innings and the Pipers’ offense produced three runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings before ending the game via 10-run rule with two more in the sixth.

Hegberg also contributed at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a triple and four RBI. Chris Schwab also had four hits and four RBI and Ken Fry added three hits.

Bobby Downs, Greg Sell, Scott Manwarren and Greg LeVon tallied two hits apiece.

Hegberg’s back started to tighten up toward the end of the game, but he came back to deliver a four-hit shutout and strike out seven in the championship game.

“Dan’s back loosed up and he told me he wanted to start. I was gonna be happy if he could get us three or four innings. Instead, he pitched an incredible complete game shutout to win the tournament,” Pipers player/manager Ken Fry said. “In addition to great pitching by Dan, we played excellent defense and really hit the ball well. Everyone contributed, which makes it that much more fun.”

The Pipers took an early lead against Watertown with one run in the first, and the score stayed 1-0 until they pushed across four more in the top of the seventh. Hegberg scored twice and knocked in two runs and Fry added two hits, including an RBI triple.

Downs and Sean Boos each added two more of the team’s 10 hits.

The Pipers finished their inaugural season with a record of 14-13.

“For a first-year team with a lot of guys who were just getting back into baseball, we had a pretty good season and a great finish,” Fry said. “More importantly, everyone had a blast.”