BLUE EARTH - The Blue Earth Pirates defeated both the Mankato Cubs and Wells Wildcats during the opening rounds of the Region 4C amateur baseball tournament over the weekend.
Blue Earth (30-3) advances to play Cannon Falls at 1 p.m. Saturday in Cannon Falls in the semifinals of the regional playoffs.
The Pirates scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally for a 6-5 victory over the Mankato Cubs on Saturday.
Kane Malo and Justin Schaible scored for the Pirates in the eighth to give them the one-run victory.
Schaible walked and moved into scoring position by stealing second base to lead off for Blue Earth. Malo then produced an RBI double to plate Schaible to knot the game at 5-all.
Malo advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on Trent Sonnicksen's single to plate the game-winning run.
T.J. Stallman hit a solo home in the first inning to stake Blue Earth to an early lead.
The Pirates' Lee Hodges led off the second inning with a single, and Brandyn Olsen, who pinch-ran for Hodges, scored on Malo's double. Malo motored to third on Sonnicksen's sacrifice fly and scored on a Mankato error that allowed John Franta to reach first.
Franta stole second and scored on Cody Sukalski's RBI double to give Blue Earth a 4-0 lead.
Zach Mullin put the Cubs on the board in the third with a solo home run before Galen Holtzhueter cranked a two-run home run in the fourth to plate David Gullixson.
Holtzhueter and J.J. Cattrysse both scored for Mankato in the sixth on a Blue Earth error after reaching with singles to give the Cubs the 5-4 lead.
Hodges pitched a complete game, allowing five runs - three earned - on six hits, striking out nine and walking three to earn the win.
The Pirates generated 25 hits, including eight home runs, to top a 24-run, seven-inning victory over the Wells Wildcats on Sunday.
Blue Earth scored seven runs in the seventh to cap a 24-1 victory over the Wildcats.
Malo went 4-for-6 with two home runs and collected four RBIs to lead the Pirates at the plate. Aaron Wendt also had two home runs in a 3-for-6 effort to generate five RBIs.
Sukalski, Stallman, Schaible each homered; T.J. Schmidtke added a double; while Hodges hit both a home run and a double for the Pirates.
Wendt, Sukalski, T.J. Nowak and Schmidtke combined to pitch the seven-inning victory.
Wendt pitched four innings, allowing two hits and striking out three to earn the win.
The lone Wilcat run was posted on Josh Amundson's solo home run in the top of the sixth inning.
Kato 001 202 000 - 5 6 2
B.E. 130 000 02x - 6 12 1
J.J. Cattrysse (LP) and Steve Trudeau. Lee Hodges (WP) and T.J. Schmidtke.
2B-Kane Malo (BE) 2, Cody Sukalski (BE), John Franta (BE). HR-T.J. Stallman (BE), Galen Holtzhueter (M), Zach Mullin (M).
B.E. 125 225 7 - 24 25 0
Wells 000 001 0 - 1 3 4
Aaron Wendt (WP), Sukalski (5), T.J. Nowak (6), T.J. Schmidtke (7) and T.J. Stallman. Adam Harrington (LP) and Trey Allis.
2B-Schmidtke (BE), Lee Hodges (BE) and Brandyn Olsen (BE) 2. HR-Malo (BE) 2, Wendt (BE) 2, Cody Sukalski (BE), Stallman (BE), Justin Schaible (BE), Hodges (BE).