The Alexandria baseball team wrapped up its second straight Central Lakes Conference championship on Thursday night by withstanding a late Brainerd rally on the road.
The Cardinals put up five runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run home run from senior Isaac Peterson. The Warriors (12-7, 9-5 CLC) did their part to rally from a 6-1 deficit. They scored two runs in each of the second, fourth and sixth innings, but Tate Breitkreutz pitched in the seventh clinging to a one-run lead and struck out the side in four batters to secure an 8-7 win. It finished off the 13th win of the season for Alexandria (13-3) as the Cardinals finished all alone atop the CLC with an 11-2 league record.
Kade Loge keeps finding ways to get on base for the Cardinals. He was 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs and two runs scored. He is now hitting .391 with a .481 on-base percentage in nine games played. Matthew Carlsen scored two runs, and Luke Levasseur had a hit and two RBIs to help lead the Cardinals’ offense.
Alexandria has played solid defense much of the season, but four errors led to four unearned runs in Brainerd. Levasseur gave up three runs, all unearned, in an inning of work. Riley Nelson went five frames, allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits and three walks before Breitkreutz cruised through the seventh to earn the save.
The Cardinals got the top seed in the 8AAA field. Alexandria is ranked fifth (113 QRF) in the state through the Minnesota-scores.net formula, but Bemidji (11-6) is not too far behind with the Lumberjacks ranked ninth (104.4) in the state. The two teams split during the regular season after a doubleheader in Bemidji on May 2.
The Section 8AAA Tournament begins on May 28 with the championship slated for June 5. Alexandria will play its first game on Wednesday against the winner of Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes.
ALEXANDRIA 510 011 0 - 8 7 4
BRAINERD 120 202 0 - 7 7 3
PITCHING - Alexandria - Luke Levasseur - 1IP, 2H, 3R, 0ER, 2BB, 1SO; Riley Nelson - 5IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 3SO; Tate Breitkreutz - S, 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 3SO; Brainerd - Colbe Watland - 4IP, 3H, 6R, 1ER, 5BB, 6SO; Ethan Sannes - 1.1IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 3BB, 3SO; Brady Anderson - 1.2IP, 1H, 0R, 1BB, 0SO
ALEXANDRIA OFFENSE - Matthew Carlsen - 0-3, BB, 2 runs; Evan Lind - 0-2, 2 BB, 1 run; Kade Loge - 2-2, 2 BB, 2 runs, 2 RBI; Blake Hoelscher - 1-2, 2 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI; Andrew Revering - 1-4, 1 run; Levasseur - 1-4, 2 RBI; Isaac Peterson - 1-3, BB, HR, 1 run, 3 RBI; Cody Richardson - 0-3; Riley Simonson - 0-1; Josh Wegner - 1-3, 2B, BB