Alexandria in must-win situation after falling to top-seeded Sartell early Tuesday afternoon

A four-run deficit after the first inning was too much for the Cardinals to overcome against Section 8-3A's top-seeded Sartell-St. Stephen. The Cardinals play in an elimination game at 4 p.m. today in St. Cloud now for the right to face Sartell again in the championship round on Thursday.

Alexandria second baseman Brock Lerfald collects the ball and places the tag on Sartell's Austin Henrichs as Henrichs slides into second base on June 8, 2021 in the Section 8-3A playoffs. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Alexandria baseball team had its five-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday as Section 8-3A’s top-seeded Sartell-St. Stephen beat the Cardinals 6-2 at Faber Field in St. Cloud.

The win sends the Sabres (20-3) into the championship round on June 10 needing just one more win to secure the Section 8-3A championship.

Alexandria (14-9) is still alive after the loss as the Cardinals will play again at 4 p.m. on Tuesday against the winner of Bemidji and Rocori. The winner of tonight’s game advances to face the Sabres back in St. Cloud on Thursday at Putz Field at 11 a.m.

Alexandria's Grady Anderson hauls in a fly ball in left field against Sartell on June 8, 2021. Anderson had a run-scoring double in the fourth inning and scored a run on a Sabres' error later that inning. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)


Sartell did its damage in the first inning against Alexandria. Charlie Kent led off the bottom of the frame with a single before a walk set up Jack Greenlun for a run-scoring single. Steven Brinkerhoff added a two-run single in the next at-bat before Blake Haus made it 4-0 with a sacrifice fly out to right field.

Alexandria starter Shay Endres settled in after that. The Cardinals’ ace went four innings and allowed four hits and three walks. Endres struck out four and posted three straight scoreless frames after the first inning to allow his team to climb back to within 4-2.

Alexandria's Shay Endres throws in the first inning against Sartell on June 8, 2021. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

JD Hennen singled to lead off the top of the fourth inning for the Cardinals. Grady Anderson doubled him in with two outs, and Anderson scored when a ground ball off the bat of Lake Hagen went for an error at shortstop.

Sartell added an insurance run in each of the fifth and sixth innings off relief pitcher Parker Jendro. Greenlun singled with one out in the fifth before stealing second. He then scored on a throwing error to first base. Calen O’Connell tripled in the sixth inning and scored on a wild pitch.

Alexandria's JD Hennen (18) is mobbed by his teammates after he scores the Cardinals' first run on an RBI double off the bat of Grady Anderson in the fourth inning on June 8, 2021. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)


The six runs were plenty of offense for Sartell’s Chase Heying. Heying threw a complete game in the win.

Alexandria collected five hits off of him and hit a handful of other balls hard that went for outs. Heying struck out seven and kept the rest of the Sabres’ pitchers off the field as they head into Thursday’s championship round with rested arms ready to go.

Sartell starting pitcher Chase Heying delivers in the first inning on June 8, 2021 against Alexandria in the Section 8-3A playoffs. Heying threw a complete game to get the win for the Sabres in the 6-2 victory that moved Sartell into the section championship round on June 10. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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