In a game you heard on AM 1480 KAUS, the Section 1A baseball title was on the line at Dick Seltz Field at Riverland Community College in Austin Tuesday as the Lyle/Pacelli Athletics, the No. 1 seed in the section tournament needed one win to advance to the State Class A baseball tournament for the first time as Lyle/Pacelli, while their opponent, the No. 2 seeded Southland Rebels needed two wins to advance to the state tournament for the third time in school history, and the first time since 2010. In front of a huge crowd, Lyle/Pacelli’s Isaac Nelsen was a one-man wrecking crew as not only did he pick up the win on the mound, he was also 3 for 4 at the plate with two doubles, two runs scored and four RBI’s, including the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth inning to help the Athletics to an 11-1 win.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third when Athletics catcher Logyn Brooks was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Third baseman Jack Klingfus laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to move Brooks to second, and he then went to third when left fielder Trey Anderson reached on an error, the first of four that Southland would commit. Leadoff hitter Landon Meyer then singled for an RBI to score Brooks to put Lyle/Pacelli ahead, 1-0 at the end of three innings.
The Athletics then plated three more runs in the bottom of the fourth when Hunter VaDeer drew a walk to start the inning. He then went to third on an errant pickoff attempt by Rebels pitcher Jonas Wiste, who then hit cleanup hitter Jake Truckenmiller with a pitch. Isaac Nelsen then started his big night at the plate by drilling a two-RBI double to deep right center to score VaDeer and Truckenmiller to make the score 3-0. With one out, Brooks then drilled an RBI single to score Nelsen to increase the Athletics lead to 4-0 after four.
The fifth inning proved to be the pivotal inning in the ball game as in the top of the inning, Southland’s Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, Isaac Felten and Maverick Hannah both reached safely to start an inning for the second time in the game, as both drew a walk to put runners on first and second with no one out. Lyle/Pacelli manager Brock Meyer then lifted Nelsen from the game and brought in the veteran Truckenmiller, who promptly struck out Rebels leadoff hitter Gavin Nelsen looking for the first out. Third baseman Tyson Stevens then singled for an RBI to score Felten, who had went to third on a wild pitch to cut the Athletics lead to 4-1, and the Rebels had some momentum with their 3 and 4 hitters, Travis Kirtz and Jack Bruggeman coming to the plate. Truckenmiller, though, quashed the momentum by getting a grounder to second and a swinging strikeout to end the the threat and the score remained 4-1 Lyle/Pacelli heading into the bottom of the inning.
Given the momentum back, the Athletics proceeded to send nine men to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, as shortstop Mac Nelson led off the inning with a walk. With one out, Truckenmiller was again hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second, and Nelsen then belted an RBI single to score Nelson from second base to make the score 5-1. Both Truckenmiller and Nelsen moved ahead 90 feet on a passed ball, and Dane Schara then reached on a two-base error in right field for Southland to score both Truckenmiller and Nelsen to give LP a 7-1 lead. Logyn Brooks followed with an RBI double to left-center to plate Schara for an 8-1 cushion, and Brooks then scored to make the score 9-1 at the end of five innings after going to third on a wild pitch and coming across the plate on a sacrifice fly to left off the bat of Jack Klingfus.
After Truckenmiller retired the Rebels in the top of the sixth, Mac Nelson started another rally in the bottom half of the inning by drawing a walk. Hunter VaDeer was hit by a pitch, and Southland manager Scott Koenigs then lifted Tyson Stevens and brought in shortstop Gavin Nelsen to pitch to Truckenmiller, who singled for an RBI to score Nelson to make the score 10-1, and the potential game-winning run in the personage of VaDeer went to second. Isaac Nelsen then stepped to the plate for Lyle/Pacelli…
After the game, Lyle/Pacelli manager Brock Meyer spoke with KAUS Sports and said that he couldn’t be prouder of his team…
Meyer went on to sing the praises of catcher Logyn Brooks, who was huge in all facets of his game in the tournament…
Coach Meyer also lauded the efforts of Isaac Nelsen and Jake Truckenmiller on the mound….
Offensively for Lyle/Pacelli besides Nelsen’s monster game, Landon Meyer was 1 for 4 with an RBI single, Jake Truckenmiller was 1 for 1 with an RBI and two runs scored, Logyn Brooks went 2 for 2 with a single, a double, two RBI’s and two runs scored, Jack Klingfus was 1 for 1 with an RBI and Mac Nelson and Hunter VaDeer each scored two runs. Nelsen and Truckenmiller combined to hold Southland to two singles in the game, as Nelsen was credited with the win after throwing the first four innings and giving up one run, which was earned, on one hit, striking out two and walking six. Truckenmiller pitched the last two innings and gave up no runs on one hit, striking out two and walking one.
With the win, their 12th in a row, the Athletics head into the state tournament with a record of 22-1, and they will play an opponent yet to be determined at a time also yet to be determined in the quarterfinals of the State Class A baseball tournament at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud next Tuesday, June 13th. Another fantastic season for Southland comes to a tough end with a record of 16-4, but a young Rebels team returns all but two players from this years squad for next season after advancing to the championship game for the second year in a row.