Baseball: Walk-offs hurt, then help Rockets
Two games came down to the wire for Randolph on Monday. The first failed to go in the Rockets' favor. The second extended the team's season for at least one one round.
In the Section 1A-East championship game, second-seeded Randolph fell to top-seeded Wabasha-Kellogg 3-2 in eight innings. Then in an elimination game versus Rushford-Peterson, an Andrew Wenstrom sacrifice fly helped the team to a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Down 1-0 heading to the top of the fifth against Wabasha-Kellogg, Grant Otte hit a sharp grounder to left field that scored Nick Drinken and Joey Erickson for a 2-1 lead. The Falcons would even the score in the bottom of the sixth on a Cooper Holthorf single that brought home Jackson Gosse.
The Rockets got a glimmer of hope in the top of the eighth when Matt Weber hit a one-out triple. But he never reached home as W-K's Liam Blashko picked up two straight strikeouts.
Blashko would be the one to give the Falcons the sub-section title with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth for a walk-off victory.
Weber was 3-for-4 in Game 1, while Otte was 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Wenstrom took the loss after giving up three runs (two earned) along with six hits and a walk to go with six strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh down 2-1 to R-P in the elimination game, Dane Ehleringer drew a one-out walk, followed by a Brandon Ratzlaff single the put Erickson on third. Erickson would tie the game after an error, which also put runners at second and third base. Wenstrom put the ball deep in the air for a sac fly that scored Ratzlaff for the game-winning run.
Four Rockets – Otte, Wenstrom, Weber and Ratzlaff – had hits in the game. On the mound, Otte collected the vital win, striking out two while allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3 in Austin, the Rockets will play in another elimination game with Hayfield. The winner of that game will play again at 1 p.m. against the loser of Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton and Wabasha-Kellogg for a spot in the section championship game.