Amateur baseball: Bird Island Bullfrogs advance to the elite eight

Sep. 2—DASSEL — Josh Kingery was really good once again. The defense was lights out and the Bird Island Bullfrogs' small-ball style offense produced.

It added up to a 4-2 win over Waconia on Saturday afternoon at Saints Field.

""It's great to be here on Sunday," said Bullfrogs first baseman Aiden Elfering, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI. "We hit the ball, but we left a lot of guys on base (10)."

Bird Island plays St. Martin in the quarterfinals of the state Class C amateur baseball tournament at 11 a.m. Sunday at Optimist Park in Litchfield. St. Martin beat Avon 5-4 on Friday night in Dassel.

The Bullfrogs are back in the elite eight of the 100th annual tournament partly because of Kingery.

"I had better control this time," said Kingery, the left-handed draftee from Atwater who struck out 10 with no walks. He allowed six hits and two runs, both in the ninth. "I had some good guys behind me."

Last week, Kingery went eight innings in the Bullfrogs' 5-1 victory over Blue Earth. In that one, he struck out 14 and walked four.

This day, he kept a power-hitting Lakers squad at bay. Waconia's six hits included doubles, both in the ninth.

Meanwhile, the Bullfrogs played errorless ball while the Lakers misplayed a couple long fly balls. One turned into a triple for Jordan Sagedahl, who scored on an RBI single by Jimmy Woelfel in the fifth to make it 3-0. The other was a two-base error that Shawn Dollerschell reached on and later scored on a Logan Swann RBI single.

Bird Island opened the scoring in the second. Nic Taylor, starting because Trent Athmann was at a wedding in Montana, smacked an RBI single with two outs and two strikes on him up the middle to score Swann.

"Swanny has been telling him (Taylor) to keep improving so you can take over left field and put me on the bench," Bullfrogs manager Mike Nagel said.

The focus for Bird Island is to get to Monday's championship game at 1 p.m. in Delano. For that to happen, it needs to win two games Sunday, starting with St. Martin.

Nagel said he's not 100 percent sure who'll start Sunday's first game, but that it will be a Bullfrog.

"The Marshall guys (Mitchell Bowman and Charlie Jacobson) will be in the pen," Nagel said.

That leaves Elfering, Jared Dettmann, Casey Lewandowski and Dylan Gass as the most likely possibilities. Sagedahl, Bird Island's shortstop, also is a top pitcher who plays for South Dakota State.

Nagel's not concerned about pitching depth, but wants to use the right pitcher against the right lineup in the right situation. Dettmann, who pitched in the minor leagues in the Atlanta Braves organization and is Nagel's son-in-law, is a potential starter against the Martins. Elfering, who had a strong season on the mound for Dubuque University, going 5-2 with a 3.31 earned-run average in 68 innings, is a possible starter in the second game at 4 p.m. Sunday in Litchfield. Lewandowski, the former Gustavus Adolphus pitcher, and Gass, the former Bethany Lutheran College player, have plenty of experience pitching in big games.

"Hopefully, we can get to Monday," Elfering said. "That's the goal every year."

Waconia 000 000 002-2 6 2

Bird Island 011 010 10x-4 10 0

Hitting — Waconia: Robbie Smith 1-4 r 2b, Derek Martin 1-4 r rbi, Max Kalenberg 1-4 2b rbi, A.J. Friedrich 1-4, Jake Hendricks 1-3 2b, Sam Schiffman 1-2 ... Bird Island: Braeden Tersteeg 1-5 r, Jordan Sagedahl 1-3 r 3b hbp sac sb, James Woelfel 2-4 rbi, Aiden Elfering 2-4 2b rbi, Shawn Dollerschell 0-3 r bb, Logan Swann 1-3 r rbi sac, Dylan Gass 2-4, Zeke Walton 0-3 sac, Nic Talor 1-2 rbi bb-2 sb

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Waconia: Blake Tritch (L, Mayer Blazers) 4-7-3-2-1-3, Will Lalonde 1.1-1-0-0-1-1, Kodey Simon 2.2-2-1-0-1-2 ... Bird Island: Josh Kingery (W, Atwater Chuckers) 9-6-2-2-0-10