Two area teams make amateur baseball state tournament

A pair of men’s amateur baseball teams from the Bulletin area participated in the state tournament last weekend. Unfortunately, their stay in the tournament didn’t last very long.

The Continental Diamond Cutters and the St. Anthony Hogs both qualified for the Minnesota Class A state tournament out of the Skyline League and played in the tournament last week at Red Haddox Field in Bloomington. The Hogs went 0-1 while the Diamond Cutters finished 0-2.

The Diamond Cutters, known as the FanHQ Fantoms last year and Moe’s in even earlier incarnations, won their second consecutive Skyline League championship this summer. They finished three games ahead of the runner-up Stockmen’s Irish.

By virtue of the league championship, the Diamond Cutters received a bye in the first round of the league playoffs. In the second round, they beat the Stillwater Loggers 11-6 and 10-1 to win the best-of-three series two games to none.

The series win sent the Diamond Cutters to the state tournament, where they were the No. 1 seed from the Skyline League. That gave them a first-round bye and automatic advancement into the double-elimination portion of the state playoffs. That’s about where their good fortune ended, however, as they dropped their first tournament game 6-4 to St. Louis Park on Saturday.

In Sunday’s losers-bracket game, the North St. Paul Red Roosters eliminated the Diamond Cutters with a 6-2 victory. The loss ended the Diamond Cutters’ season and gave them a final record of 24-6.

The Diamond Cutters’ roster includes six Mounds View High School graduates, including Lars Anderson, the Mustangs’ starting catcher on their 2013 state-championship team. Another member of the 2013 team, Ethan DeCaster, is also on the Diamond Cutters’ roster.

The St. Anthony Hogs finished tied for third in the Skyline League standings but with the way the tie-breakers worked out ended up as the fifth seed in the playoffs. That meant that the Hogs would need to win two best-of-three series to reach state and that’s what they ended up doing.

St. Anthony took down the PHD Mudhens in two games in the first round with wins of 4-1 and 20-7. That set up a second-round series against the second-place Irish, which the Hogs won two games to none to move on to the state tournament.

At state, St. Anthony lost its first game 8-4 to the Lyon’s Pub Warriors and was eliminated.

The Hogs’ roster features a dozen St. Anthony Village High School graduates, including Dan Kaczrowski, who was a Division III All-American at Hamline University.

One other Bulletin-area team took a shot at a state-tournament berth but came up short. Tri-City Shark finished third in the Skyline League and received a first-round bye in the league playoffs before taking on the Roosters in the second round.

The Roosters had other ideas, however, and took Tri-City out in two games. The Roosters won 10-5 and 10-4.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.

 

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