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Baseball: Early lead earns Randolph a spot in Section 4A championship

Patience is a virtue, the old saying goes, and for Randolph it provided three early runs on the way to a 9-2 victory over Heritage Christian Academy in the Section 4A semifinals on Saturday at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka.

Andrew Wenstrom hit a leadoff single on the third pitch of the game, but the Rockets became patient at the plate from there. Joey Erickson and Dane Ehleringer both struck out but not before working full counts.

Wenstrom stole second base before Matt Weber drew a walk, and then the Rockets worked four consecutive walks to get ahead, 3-0, after one inning.

The plate discipline continued in the second inning as Randolph put up four more runs on two singles and three walks.

The Eagles were able to scatter a couple runs — one in the third and one in the seventh — but were unable to consistently get runners in scoring position.

Wenstrom paced the Rockets with three hits and three runs. Weber, Nick Drinken and Alec Otte led the way with two RBI apiece. Erickson recorded one double and Weber also scored two runs.

Wenstrom earned the win after getting the start on the mound. He struck out six, walked four and gave up three hits through 5 ⅔ innings. Drinken pitched the final 1 ⅓ innings.

With the win, Randolph earned a spot in the Section 4A championship game on Thursday at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. It will face the winner of Mayer Lutheran and Heritage Christian Academy, which play on Tuesday.

Mayer Lutheran 2, Goodhue 1

Goodhue scrapped together a late run to push the game into extra innings, but the Wildcats were unable to hold on as they fell to Mayer Lutheran, 2-1, on Saturday in a Section 4A elimination game.

Both teams had at least one runner reach base in each of the first five innings, but it wasn't until the bottom of the fifth that either team was able to do anything about it.

Mayer Lutheran got the first run of the game with some technical play. Kenson Boelke hit a leadoff single and advanced to second base on a sac bunt. In the next at bat, Boelke reached third on a passed ball and then scored on a ground out to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead through five innings.

Goodhue tied the game up in the top of the seventh when Carson Benda drove in Casey Ryan after Ryan hit a leadoff triple.

Ethan Clark was hit by a pitch in the next at bat to put runners at first and second with no one out, but the Wildcats could not bring in another run.

That would come back to haunt Goodhue when Brock Hoese hit a ground ball into right field in the bottom of the eighth inning for the walk-off victory.

Benda led Goodhue with two hits and one RBI.

Ryan took the loss after pitching 6 ⅔ innings. He struck out five, walked three and gave up four hits. Carson Morken pitched the final inning.

With the loss, Goodhue's season comes to an end.

RE Sports

The Red Wing Republican Eagle covers local sports in Goodhue County and surrounding areas. 

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