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Baseball: Whitecaps claim State Class B title

Photo courtesy Brenda Erie In their inaugural season, the Carlos Whitecaps amateur men's baseball team captured the Class B state championship Sunday as they defeated Nisswa 9-3 in the title game. Members of the squad include (back, left to right) Ryan Burgau, Troy Olson, Mark Nelson, John Toop, Greg Nathe, Bo Nathe, (front) batboy Brady Burgau, Brad Anderson, Gerry Hoelscher, Mark Illies, Mitch Steidl, Brad Eustice and Kyle Berberich.1 / 2
Photo courtesy Brenda Erie Greg Nathe tagged out a Nisswa baserunner at third during the championship game of the State Class B Senior Men's Amateur baseball tournament Sunday. The Whitecaps were 9-3 winners in the championship.2 / 2

The Carlos Whitecaps will never forget their inaugural season.

Not after a 9-3 win over Nisswa this past Sunday gave them the Class B state championship at the Minnesota Senior Men's Amateur Baseball tournament. The Whitecaps jumped out with eight runs through the first three innings and never looked back in the title game. A 6-1 win over New Hope in the semifinals and the championship victory capped off a run that saw them win four straight games over two weekends.

Nisswa took the first lead in the title game before Carlos started to run away with things. Mark Illies got the Whitecaps going in the bottom of the first with an RBI single. Greg Nathe then gave his team a lead it would not relinquish with a sacrifice fly. They added three more in the second and third to break the game open. Illies' two-RBI single in the third was part of a three hit, three RBI day from him. Mark Nelson and Kyle Berberich also had big days, combining for four hits, five runs and an RBI.

Gerry Hoelscher was counted on to hold that lead and didn't disappoint on the mound. He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out three. Hoelscher posted zeroes from the second through the fifth, which allowed his offense to build a big lead. He ran into a little trouble in the sixth before Troy Olson relieved him with one out and runners on second and third. Only one of those runs scored before Olson got the final out of the sixth and worked a scoreless seventh for the win.

Illies made sure the Whitecaps would reach the championship with his performance against New Hope. He took the ball and picked up a complete-game victory on the mound. He scattered six hits and five walks, while striking out four.

Illies got out of a jam in the fourth after the Bandits had already taken a 1-0 lead. With two on and one out, Illies struck out the next man he faced for the second out. The next batter reached on a single before he induced a pop up to Kyle Berberich at short to end the threat.

The Whitecaps finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth. Brad Eustice delivered the big hit with a two-RBI single that made it a 2-1 game. They added four more in the sixth to give Illies some breathing room. Ryan Burgau had a run scoring triple in that inning.

Hoelscher and Illies shared co-MVP honors at the tournament after pitching their team to the state title.


NISSWA 100 002 0 - 3 7 0

CARLOS 233 001 X - 9 11 0

CARLOS PITCHING - Gerry Hoelscher - W, 5 1/3IP, 7H, 3R, 3ER, 3BB, 3SO; Troy Olson - 1 2/3IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 3SO

CARLOS HITTING - Kyle Berberich - 2-2, BB, 3 runs, SB; Brad Eustice - 1-2, 1 run, 2 RBI; Mark Illies - 3-4, 3 RBI, SB; Greg Nathe - 0-2, BB, RBI, 1 run; Olson - 1-4; John Toop - 0-4; Ryan Burgau - 1-3, BB; Mark Nelson - 2-3, 2 runs, RBI; Hoelscher - 1-2, 2 BB, 2 runs

NEW HOPE 000 100 0 - 1 6 0

CARLOS 000 024 X - 6 6 0

CARLOS PITCHING - Illies - W, 7IP, 6H, 1R, 1ER, 5BB, 4SO

CARLOS HITTING - Nelson - 1-11 run; Berberich - 0-3, BB, 1 run; Eustice - 1-3, BB, 2 RBI; Illies - 0-1, BB, RBI; Nathe - 0-3, BB, SB; Olson - 1-4, 2B; Hoelscher - 1-2, 2 BB, 1 run; Burgau - 1-3, 3B, 1 run, RBI; Toop - 1-3, 1 run, RBI; Mitch Steidl - 0-2, BB, 1 run