Junior Legion in Section Finals
The goal wasn’t so much to win the game easily, as it was to escape the semifinals with an intact pitching staff for Tuesday’s possibly two-game showdown with Madison.
Getting the game over in five innings with a 12-0 win helped.
“Each pitcher can only throw 30 pitches. Over that and he can’t pitch the next day,” said Minneota Jr. Legion Manager J.D. Pesch.
The playoffs are using the “pitch count rule” that surfaced in high school baseball this year.
The idea is to protect arms and make it impossible for one pitcher to dominate a tournament.
“When you prepare for three games in two days, you really have to watch the pitch county,” said the manager.
As a result, the pitch count is tabulated as closely as any other statistics.
“I’m going to use a bunch,” Pesch said early in the game. And he followed through on his promise.
When starter Teddy Pesch reached 29 pitches, his dad, J.D., wandered to the mound and replaced him with Grady Moorse.
When he reached the limit, in came Jacob Hennen.
“Two innings is about the most you can get out of each pitcher (or they’ll exceed the 30-pitch limit),” said the manager.
He went as far as to tell his players the best antidote for the 30-pitch rule was to get the game over in five innings to save “arms”.
They did just that — battering three Canby hurlers for eight hits and the 12 runs. Canby’s ace Evan Stoks wasn’t at the game and the win he fashioned over Minneota in the first playoff game was no where to be found.
Sam Buysse, who started the game off with a booming triple down the left field line, had a pair of hits and knocked in two.
Teddy Pesch scored three times; Austin Sorensen knocked in a run, as did Hennen and Tate Walerius was 2-2 with two runs scored and a run batted in. Moorse also knocked in a run.
Canby got just two hits, one off Pesch and the other off Moorse. The three Minneota hurlers combined for five strikeouts and three walks.
The Vultures also pulled off two double plays — one in the first inning and the other in the fifth.
The Vultures are in action tonight at Madison beginning at 5 p.m. If Minneota wins the first game, then they will play a second game right after. The winner advances to the state tournament.