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39ers outlast Oakdale Mavericks
North St. Paul 2 - Oakdale 1
The Oakdale Mavericks visited the North St. Paul Post 39 baseball team Wednesday, June 25 for a non-league contest at Kuenkel Field.
It was the second game of the evening for the 39ers, who dropped a 6-3 decision to Tri-City Red in the opener.
The Mavericks are made up almost entirely of Tartan students and play in District III. The 39ers have all but one player who is from North High, so the gathering was one of foes who know each other well.
The game moved to the eighth inning before the 39ers were able to provide the winning run in a 2-1 ballgame.
On the mound for the 39ers was Elvin Baez, who pitched the first seven innings and gave up just one run on five hits while striking out nine. He was relieved in the eighth inning by Bram Minser, who gained the win.
For the Mavericks - they are not sponsored by an American Legion post - Connor O’Sullivan worked the first seven innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out 12.
O’Sullivan was relieved in the eighth by Tyler Feyereisen, who picked up the loss.
“It seems those walks, especially in the late innings, always come back to haunt you,” said Oakdale manager Doug Berfeldt. “But it was a good game. Both pitchers were good. We missed some chances early on.
“We will see them again when we might meet in the playoffs. It was a well played game by both teams.”
“Well, we won one,” said a smiling North St. Paul manager Ron Adams after the doubleheader. “I thought it was a heck of a game. We got good pitching when we needed it and were able to pick up the run we needed in the eighth.”
In the top of the fourth the Mavericks scored their lone run. Two strikeouts were followed by an infield error that allowed Nate Witzel to reach first. Derek Zuniga and Nolan Russell followed with back-to-back singles. Russell picked up the Oakdale RBI when Witzel touched home.
In the lower fourth the 39ers knotted the count. Baez was the designated hitter and led off with a walk. He attempted to steal second but was thrown out. A strikeout later, Piepgras worked a walk. Corky Hildebrandt - he was 3-for-4 at the plate - smacked a one-hop double off the center-field fence that brought Piepgras home with the 1-1 tally.
The game then progressed rapidly to the deciding eighth inning in which the 39ers claimed the triumph over their rivals.
Jace Piepgras had worked a walk and Gus Varland went in as a pinch runner. Corky Hildebrandt then sent a slow-roller to the left side and beat the throw to the bag. Tommy Mulvaney then put down a sacrifice bunt and when no one covered the bag he was safe at first, loading the bases with 39ers with no outs.
In stepped Joe Messerole who promptly launched a towering flyball to left field. Varland tagged and raced home after the catch with the 2-1, game-winning run. After the game, 39ers manager Adams said he agreed with umpire giving Piepgras the walk, which turned out to be the winning run.
The 39ers go up against the 3M Post 599 Mapleleafs Wednesday, July 2 at 6 p.m. at Hill-Murray High School field, before embarking on their annual participation in the Alexandria Invitational Tournament at Alexandria July 4-5.
The Mavericks will play Totino Grace at 6 p.m. July 2 at Totino Grace High School, and also will be in Alexandria for the American Legion baseball tournament over the holiday weekend.
Wally Wakefield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.