August 23, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
The Spring Hill Chargers had 13 hits, but a strikeout was the key play in their 6-4 win over Roseau in the Class C Minnesota Amateur Baseball Tournament Aug. 19 at Optimist Park in Litchfield.
Early hits produced runs for the Chargers. Austin Schoenberg scored on Dylan Gertken’s sacrifice fly. In the third inning, Eric Terres singled, Jamie Terres and Austin Schoenberg doubled and Ben Welle reached on an error as Spring Hill took a 4-0 lead.
Ben Welle’s pitching kept Roseau from scoring until the third, when it had three hits for three runs. From then through the seventh, Welle did not give up more than one hit in any inning. His outfielders were there for him. Both right fielder Austin Schoenberg and center fielder Owen Meyer had diving catches.
Spring Hill’s defense and pitching shut down Roseau. At the same time, Roseau’s Isaac Wensloff kept shutting down Spring Hill. The two teams combined for six third-inning runs but did not score again until the final innings.
The Chargers did have hard-hit balls. Eric Terres finished with four hits, Austin Schoenberg had two doubles and Luke Dehmer doubled, but no one picked up RBIs.
In the eighth, as Anthony Revermann came to the mound, Roseau opted for the small-ball game. It tied the score on a walk, hit batter, sacrifice bunt and a single. Revermann ended the rally with a groundout and strikeout and kept the game tied.
The Schoenberg-Terres connection came through for the Chargers in the ninth, but not as anyone would have expected. It started with Nathan Terres and Eric Terres hitting singles. Corey Schoenberg came in as a pinch runner for Nathan Terres. He and Eric Terres moved up a base on a groundout. That brought up Welle with two on and first base open.
Welle striking out turned out to be a good thing for Spring Hill. The catcher dropped the ball and attempted a throw to first to retire Welle. When the throw went to first, Corey Schoenberg broke for home and scored, giving the Chargers the lead.
Jamie Terres’ follow-up single pushed in another run for a 6-4 lead.
Spring Hill turned the ball over to Lake Henry draftee Grant Ludwig for the final inning. He walked one and gave up a hit, putting the tying runner on with two outs. Dehmer recorded the final out at first, winning a race to the bag with a dive.
The win sends Spring Hill to the second round of the state tournament, where it will face 12C champion Delano at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 25, at Delano Municipal Ballpark in Delano.
All Region 15C teams in action recorded wins. Elrosa defeated Hadley 4-3 and Kimball won 4-2 over Dumont. St. Martin, the Region 15C champion, had a first-round bye and will face Loretto at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 27, at Optimist Park in Litchfield.