Baseball: Bombers fight off elimination
CANNON FALLS — After opening Saturday’s Section 1AA-West playoffs with an 11-4 loss to defending state champions Kasson-Mantorville, Cannon Falls wasn’t about to start worrying about being one loss away from elimination.
“To be honest, we’re not looking at where our backs are, but where our eyes are looking. We’re looking forward,” said Bombers head coach Bucky Lindow. “We’re looking right through the windshield instead of the rear-view mirror. That’s the way we approach it and that’s what we’re going to do.”
And thanks to a walk-off single by Bryce Boyle-Hoban that scored Reid Hommerdahl, Cannon Falls remains in the tournament after knocking out Byron 5-4.
Now, the Bombers wait until 5:30 p.m. Monday, where they will take on the loser of the 3 p.m. game between Rochester Lourdes and K-M. Both games will take place at John Burch Park in Cannon Falls.
Cannon Falls 5, Byron 4
With Byron holding onto a one-run lead with three outs left, Cannon Falls’ bats helped keep the season alive.
Stringing together three straight singles, Peter Haggerty tied the game at 4-4 with an RBI single that scored Hunter Blakeslee. With the score tied, that set the state for Boyle-Hoban to be the Bombers’ hero with the game-winning RBI single.
Haggerty had three of Cannon Falls’ nine hits against the Bears, including a solo home run. Blakeslee went 2-for-3 with two run scored, and Quinton Lindow got the win on the mound after three innings of relief for starter Carter Dombeck. Lindow held Byron scoreless with three hits while striking out three.
Byron’s Nate Levy was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a run scored. Mitch Enerson and Colin Anderson had had two hits in the elimination loss.
Kasson-Mantorville 11, Cannon Falls 4
Kasson-Mantorville seemed to have a counter for anything Cannon Falls could muster.
After the Bombers went up 1-0 in the first inning, the KoMets responded with a solo home run by Jayden Prigge in the first before taking a 2-1 lead in the second.
Then when Cannon Falls had a three-run top of the third, sparked by a two-run double by Jonathan Sharot that scored Nathan Melhouse and Brock Peterson, K-M scored four runs in the bottom half and put the game out of reach the rest of the way.
“They hit the ball well, and we hit it well early on, too,” Bucky Lindow said. “They gave us some opportunities early on and we took advantage of it.”
Lindow continued, “We still continued to have good at-bats if you look at the ones we hit to their outfielders. Sometimes they’re caught, and that was the case in that game.”
Finishing with 11 hits, four KoMet players — Wade Starkey, Prigge, Kyle Nichols and Brendan Knoll — each finished with two hits. Starkey had three RBI, while Nichols and Knoll each drove in a pair of runs in the victory.
Sharot finished with three RBI in the Bombers’ loss.