Jaguars baseball 6th at ‘A’ state

Jahnz tosses 6-hit complete game to top MLGHECT's victory over Ely

THROWING STRIKES — Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman starting pitcher Zach Jahnz delivers a strike to an unidentified Ely batter during a Class A state consolation semifinal baseball game on Friday at Chaska Athletic Park. (Photo by Greg Abel)

CHASKA — Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman junior right-hander Zach Jahnz fired a six-hit complete-game gem to steer the Jaguars to a 5-2 Class A state consolation semifinal baseball victory over the Ely Timberwolves on Friday at Chaska Athletic Park.

Jahnz notched a game-best seven strikeouts, issued two walks, hit a batter and allowed two runs — one earned — in seven innings of work to earn the program’s first-ever state tournament triumph.

Garrett Balcom singled, scored two runs and collected one RBI via a perfect suicide-squeeze bunt to help propel the Jaguars into the Class A consolation championship game against Fosston on Friday. The Greyhounds eliminated Pillager, 4-3 in 8 innings, earlier in Chaska.

Unfortunately for the Jaguars, Fosston junior right-hander Brett Sundquist saved his best pitching performance of the spring diamond campaign for last.

Sundquist, who entered the Class A state quarterfinals with a team-best 8-0 record and 2.01 ERA on the strength of 60 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings pitched, accomplished the unthinkable in the consolation finale — he hurled a rare perfect game.

Sundquist recorded three strikeouts without issuing a walk in retiring 15 consecutive Jaguar batters to help pace the Greyhounds’ 10-0, five-inning triumph Friday afternoon in Chaska.

“I’ve never thrown one (a perfect game), but I guess it was the perfect time to — in the state consolation championship game,” Sundquist said with a smile. “Actually, when I stepped on the mound, I was just trying to get us another win. I wasn’t thinking about a no-hitter or a perfect game.”

Sundquist also proved Fosston’s offensive catalyst from the leadoff spot in the batting order. He went 1-for-3 with one RBI and scored the next-to-last run — one of three on the afternoon — on teammate Jesse Sather’s game-winning two-run double with two out in the bottom of the fifth.

“It’s incredible — I can’t believe it,” said Fosston head coach Ryan Hanlon. “He (Sundquist) pitched a heckuva game today.”

Jaguar sophomore left-hander Paxton Gravlin held the Greyhounds’ bats scoreless through the opening two frames before giving up three runs on three hits in the bottom of the third inning.

Joby Buchholz, who went 2-for-3 from the No. 9 spot in Fosston’s batting order, triggered the consolation final’s initial offensive outburst with a leadoff single before being erased on Sundquist’s fielder’s choice.

Gravlin got a flyout for the second out before issuing a walk to Sather — his second of the game — before the first of the Jaguars’ five errors allowed Sundquist to cross the plate. Hunter Kroening legged out an infield hit near the third-base bag before the ensuing errant toss created a run. Dalton Agnes then hammered a two-run triple to deep left-center to stake Fosston to a 3-0 lead.

The Greyhounds sent 10 batters to the plate during a five-run, six-hit fourth frame to break the game open. Treydon Boushee’s infield hit, Zach Vig’s bunt hit and Buchholz’s RBI double started the wheels spinning.

Sundquist drilled a high-bouncing RBI single over the third baseman’s extended leap before Sather drilled a run-scoring single to center. Kroening’s RBI hit and Agnes’ run-scoring fielder’s choice extended Fosston’s margin to 8-0.

After Jaguars’ reliever Ethan Hurn recorded consecutive outs in the last of the fifth frame, Sundquist and Brock Hemmesch drew back-to-back walks. Both runners advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch before Hanlon gave Sather the ‘green light’ on a 3-0 delivering. Sather drilled a towering, game-winning two-run double to the right-center gap to close out the 10-run rule victory for the Greyhounds.

Sather and Kroening produced two hits each, with Sather and Agnes generating three RBIs each.

Gravlin allowed six runs — only three earned — on six hits, fanned one and walked two in 3-plus innings of work to take the loss.

Balcom gave up two unearned runs on three hits and struck out one in 1 inning of work, while Hurn fanned one, walked two and gave up two runs on one hit in 2/3s of an inning of relief.

Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman ended the season with a 22-6 record, while Fosston closed out its Class A state consolation crown with a 24-3 record.

Class A State Tournament

Consolation Championship

MLGHECT 000 00 — 0 0 5

Fosston 003 52 — 10 10 0

Winning run scored with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Paxton Gravlin (LP), Garrett Balcom (4), Ethan Hurn (5) and Hurn, Mitchell Prafke (5). Brett Sundquist (WP) and Hunter Kroening.

LOB–Martin Luther/GHEC/Truman 0, Fosston 7. 2B–Jesse Sather (F) and Joby Buchholz (F). 3B–Dalton Agnes (F).

Consolation Semifinal

MLGHECT 000 302 0 — 5 4 0

Ely 010 010 0 — 2 6 5

Zach Jahnz (WP) and Ethan Hurn. Trevor Mattson (LP), Dalton Schreffler (6), Cody Davis (6) and Carter Gaulke.

LOB–ML/GHEC/Truman 6, Ely 6. 2B–Hurn (MLGHECT). SF–Quintin Greier (MLGHECT). SAC–Carter Wille (MLGHECT) and Garrett Balcom (MLGHECT).