Coming into this spring, the Minneapolis baseball program’s best year was a 12-10 record in 2014.
The 2019 Lions baseball team–in its 13th year of existence–smashed school records on their way to the 3A State Baseball semi-finals.
Unfortunately, the Minneapolis rally against defending-state champion, Sabetha, fell short on Monday evening in Topeka. The Lions fell to the Bluejays 9-5 to end the season.
Both Minneapolis and Sabetha had to wait to complete the game that was started on Friday, May 24. But after three venue changes, two rain delays, a tornado warning and 72 hours, the Lions and Bluejays were finally able to complete their semi-final game.
Minneapolis struck first. With a scoreless game in the bottom of the 3rd inning, Minneapolis used clutch hitting from Kaden Griffin and Spencer Davidson to drive in three runs. After three innings, Minneapolis led 3-0.
Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last long as Sabetha would answer back in the top of the 4th inning. The Bluejays had success driving the ball against Davidson on the mound. The Bluejays smacked five hits in the inning to take a 6-3 lead.
Sabetha tallied three more runs over the coarse of the game, as they led 9-3 going in to the bottom of the 7th inning.
Down to their final three outs of the season, the Lions didn’t quit. Minneapolis would smack four hits in the inning to get to within four runs. Minneapolis had the bases loaded with one out and the game-tying run at the plate. However, a lined-shot by Cade Thomas was caught by the Sabetha 2nd basemen, who then tagged second base to end the game.
Sabetha (21-3) would complete the sweep on Monday night by beating Rock Creek (22-4) 10-4 in the 3A State Championship game to win their second-consecutive title.
Minneapolis (20-4) finishes tied for third place with Wellsville as KSHSAA did not play the third place game due to weather. The 20 wins tallied are the most in program history for Minneapolis, while the trip to the 3A State Tournament was the first in program history as well.
The Lions say good-bye to three seniors: Gaton Heald, Levi Ausherman and Luke Vogel–all three played key roles for Minneapolis. However, the Lions return a huge core of their run in 2019 coming back next spring.