May 31, 2023 at 4:18 p.m.

Streeters fall to Pierz in section playoffs

Streeters fall to Pierz in section playoffs
Streeters fall to Pierz in section playoffs

By Evan Michealson- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Sauk Centre baseball sees season end

For a large chunk of their first-round Section 6AA playoff contest, the Sauk Centre Streeters were well within striking distance of the Pierz Pioneers.

The underdog 13-seeded Streeters were trailing 2-0 through four innings, failing to find a run themselves but keeping No. 4 Pierz from snowballing the game into a favorable position behind a spirited pitching performance from Matthew Warring. 

However, a five-run fifth inning from the Pioneers signaled the end of Sauk Centre’s comeback hopes, as Pierz eliminated the Streeters from postseason play with a 9-0 victory May 30 at Hellie Field in Pierz.

“I thought Matt pitched well, certainly well enough to keep us in it through five,” said Bryan Zollman, head coach. “We just had a couple of minor miscues that sort of snowballed on us in the fifth and they took advantage.”

Warring started shaky in the playoff outing, allowing two runs in the first inning, but settled in nicely to reach the fifth inning without another blemish. On one occasion, he tracked down a pop fly in foul territory and whirled to third base to get an inning-ending force-out, stranding the bases loaded. 

Sauk Centre received an early chance to tie the game. Senior Eli Fletcher hit a second-inning single, stole second and safely got himself out of a rundown on a fielder’s choice, leading to two Streeter runners standing in scoring position with one out. Sadly, the Streeters failed to get that run across.

“Their pitcher was tough, but we did have a couple of chances but once again just couldn’t get that big hit when we needed,” Zollman said. “They also played good defense, made some nice plays and didn’t commit an error. They just played an all-around better ballgame than us.”

Pierz single-season RBIs leader Max Barclay fueled the hosts’ massive fifth inning with a two-run home run, and the Pioneers scored two more in the sixth inning to provide additional cushion.

The Streeters bowed out of the section playoffs with a final record of 10-11. Not to be forgotten amidst the saddening ending was the contributions of Sauk Centre’s senior class. Warring batted .397 at the plate and scored a team-high 22 runs to go with 38 innings pitched and 31 strikeouts; Fletcher hit an impressive .411 with two home runs and 21 RBIs, pacing the team with 11 stolen bases and adding a 1.88 ERA on the mound; Hunter Danielson accumulated a .400 batting average, 20 RBIs, 28 hits and 10 stolen bases and Eric Isenbart returned to the program after a three-year absence to add 19 at-bats and a critical dugout presence. 

“We had a small but solid group of seniors,” Zollman said. “They were great leaders and we couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids. They set the bar high for the next group of underclassmen coming up.”

Brandon-Evansville 10, Sauk Centre 1

Sauk Centre’s regular season ended in disappointing fashion, as the squad dropped a 10-1 loss to Brandon-Evansville May 25 at Evansville Public School in Evansville.

The Streeters clinched the No. 13 seed in the Section 6AA tournament with the defeat. 


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