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Baseball: Irish bow out at 8-13

John Birkholz pitches for Rosemount during last Tuesday’s 7-1 loss at Woodbury in the final game of the regular season.

Like the rest of the season, a few timely plays here and there could have turned the results in Rosemount’s favor in Friday’s Section 3AAA tournament loss.

The Irish pounded out 11 hits and played errorless defense, but a few too many bases on balls and a shortage of clutch hits left the team just short in a 7-6 season-ending loss to St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights.

“We lost a tough game on Friday. We played well, but we left some guys in scoring position and probably walked too many of their guys,” said Rosemount coach Chris Swansson, whose team finished 8-13. “Overall, I think we lost a few close games and had more peaks and valleys than we would have liked, but made good strides.”

Ben Smith was a reliable starter for the Irish all season long, but ran into trouble against the bottom of the St. Thomas Academy order. The 7-8-9 batters reached base seven times courtesy of two hits, three walks and two hit-by-pitches, setting the table for the top of the lineup.

St. Thomas Academy made it 4-3 with three runs in the bottom of the third, and then took the lead with four runs in the fifth.

Luke Dahl and Aaron Roszak each drove in two runs for the Irish. Another run scored on an error after a bunt single by Chad Hinkle.

The loss ended the prep careers of seven seniors: Smith, Roszak, Alex Tauer, Jordan Turner, Cole Northwick, Dennis Reinhardt and Alex Duffy.

“I was happy with the leadership our seniors displayed and the work ethic of our team,” Swansson said. “The seniors should be proud of the effort they gave. We are also lucky to have played a lot of underclassmen this year and I think we have some very positive things happening in our program.”