Baseball: Stockert, Levasseur combine for a 10-inning no-hitter in opener
No sense in waiting for midseason to play an extra-inning thriller.
The Alexandria baseball team finally got a game in on Thursday night in Sartell, and it didn’t end until 10 innings were complete.
Alexandria junior Blake Hoelscher doubled in Matthew Carlsen in the top of the 10th inning to help secure a 2-1 win over the Sabres that was all about pitching for much of the night.
“We joked about it in the dugout that we ended last year in an extreme pressure situation and we begin the next season the same way,” Alexandria head coach Jake Munsch said. “It’s kind of the story of the Central Lakes Conference. It’s always a tight game. We came out on the good end of that, which helps us confidence-wise. Being able to win a 2-1 game to start the year and play really good defense was really encouraging.”
Alexandria seniors Carter Stockert and Luke Levasseur combined to toss a no-hitter. Walks were their only small blemish as Stockert walked four and Levasseur walked two. Three walks and an error in the bottom of the seventh led to Sartell tying the game up with its only run.
“Carter pitched really good with his control and only a few walks,” Munsch said. “Luke came into a situation where he had to clean up. He had bases loaded with a 3-2 count. If he walks in the runner, we lose. He threw a strike to get a pop out so we could play on. Both those kids have been in pressure situations before. Taking care of their job is what we stress, and they did that.”
The Cardinals had led 1-0 up until the seventh after they scored a first-inning run. Carlsen walked with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground-ball out. He then scored on a passed ball to give his team the early advantage.
Hoelscher had a three-hit night to lead the offense, while Carlsen scored twice after a hit and a walk himself.
“You look at both Matthew and Blake playing an entire season as sophomores last year,” Munsch said. “It gives them an entire season of experience. They understand the pressure situations. Last year was a huge benefit for them, so it’s almost like they’re seniors. That showed yesterday. Our young guys showed the jitters in their first varsity game, and our older guys showed that they’ve been there before and could handle it. That experience just makes a big difference.”
Stockert is one of the most experienced players on this roster, and he took over after the first-inning run from Carlsen. The lefty struck out 11 batters in 6 1/3 innings before giving way to Levasseur in the seventh. Levasseur went the final 3 2/3 innings and fanned five himself.
Sartell’s Jake Schelonka and Dylan Notsch were on their game, as well, as they combined to limit Alexandria to just seven hits over the 10 frames.
“That was the second day we’ve seen pitches outside,” Munsch said. “As the game went on, we started squaring up more balls as kids got more at-bats. I think offensively, we did what’s very typical of a first game outside in the spring.”
The Cardinals (1-0, 1-0 Central Lakes Conference) are now scheduled to host their home opener at Knute Nelson Ballpark on Tuesday when Willmar comes to town for a 5 p.m. start. Sartell and Alexandria will play again on Thursday when the Sabres come to Alexandria for a 7 p.m. first pitch.
ALEXANDRIA 100 000 000 1 - 2 7 1
SARTELL 000 000 1 000 - 1 0 2
PITCHING - Alexandria - Carter Stockert - W, 6.1IP, 0H, 1R, 0ER, 4BB, 11SO; Luke Levasseur - 3.2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 5SO; Sartell - Jake Schelonka - 5.1IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 5BB, 7SO; Dylan Notsch - L, 4.2IP, 4H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 2SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Levasseur - 1-5, 2B; Matthew Carlsen - 1-4, BB, 2 runs; Isaac Peterson - 0-4, BB; Blake Hoelscher - 3-5, 2B, RBI; Riley Simonson - 0-2, 3 BB; Cody Richardson - 1-4; Andrew Revering - 0-4; Josh Wegner - 0-4; Matthew Zick - 0-3; Evan Lind - 1-1, 2B