Back in 2019, the Minneapolis baseball team received a taste of a state tournament victory for the first time.
Fast forward to 2021 and the Lions didn’t lose their appetite.
Colton Bradford recorded four of the 14 hits for the Lions, Spencer Davidson kept the Spartans guessing, and No. 7 Minneapolis pounced on No. 2 Wichita Collegiate early en route to an 11-0, run-rule victory in the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament at K-State’s Tointon Family Stadium. The six-inning victory was the second postseason win in program history as the Lions improved to 16-6.
Bradford opened the contest with a one-out single. After Trent Moeckel was hit by a pitch, Davidson stepped to the plate and ripped a knock to center. Daniel Watson followed Davidson’s lead with an RBI single, putting Minneapolis on top 2-0.
Collegiate answered by getting a runner on third in the Spartans’ first two trips to the plate. Drew Charbonneau reached the bag with two down in the first. Davidson closed the frame with a strikeout. Brett Black made it to third with only one away, but Davidson struck out the side, keeping the Lions in control through two.
The floodgates opened up in the fourth. Watson and Colby Rice started the inning with back-to-back singles. Weston Schrader waltzed to the dish and belted and single to plate the third Minneapolis run.
After a popup for the first out, Ryker Nelson moved to the plate and slapped the pitch back to Hayden Malaise. The sophomore saw the ball sneak under his glove, resulting in Minneapolis’ fourth run on an error.
With the bases loaded, Moeckel put the game out of reach. The senior blasted a shot past the left fielder, clearing the bags on a double. Nolan White ended the six-run fourth with an RBI, padding the margin to 8-0.
Minneapolis accumulated 14 hits on the day. Bradford for 4-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. White, Watson, and Schrader all tallied multi-hit afternoons.
Davidson scattered two hits and struck out seven in six innings of work. Davidson retired the final 15 batters he faced.
Minneapolis battles the three-seeded Rock Creek Mustangs, who edged Bishop Ward 8-5 in the opening round. First pitch is at 11 am with pregame at 10:45 on Sports Radio 1150 KSAL.
If Minneapolis wins, the Lions will play at 5:45 pm. If the Lions lose, they will step back on the field at 3:30 pm. Coverage is set for 1150 KSAL and KSAL.com.
*Photo by Amanda Davidson*