June 18, 2018 05:47 PM
Stillwater Area finished the season on a 20-game winning streak, a spree that ended with a 4-0 victory over Minnetonka in the Class AAAA championship game on Monday, June 18 at Target Field.
It is the second state championship for the Ponies (24-3), who entered the State Tournament as the #2-seed. The other title was in 1991 when Stillwater captured the Class AA title.
Junior left-handed pitcher Andrew Gilbert was a dominant force on the mound, recording 15 strikeouts in shutting out the No. 1 seed Skippers (22-5).
Gilbert struck out the first six batters of the game to set the tone, and later notched his 15th strikeout for the final out to secure the Ponies’ title. He allowed three hits and two walks in the shutout victory. He recorded at least two strikeouts in five innings and struck out the side three times.
Gilbert entered the state tournament with a 6-1 record and 75 strikeouts in 42 innings with a 0.50 earned run average. He pitched in two games during the tournament, striking out 25 strikeouts across 13 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs.
The Ponies snapped a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs. Although senior shortstop Matthew McGinley was 0 for 2 with a walk in the game, he factored into both runs in the inning - beating out a double play for an RBI fielder’s choice grounder to short and then caused a baseline disruption and a failed pickoff attempt at first base that allowed sophomore teammate Jonathan Koehn to score from third.
Stillwater Area scored two more insurance runs for Gilbert in the sixth inning, a pair of unearned runs with McGinley reaching on a two out error that allowed the fourth run to score after the third run scored on a two base fielding error on the previous play.
Senior left fielder Mason Schwerzler was 2-for-3 with a run and Koehn was 0-for-2 but scored a pair of runs.
Three of the four Stillwater Area runs were unearned as senior right handed pitcher Mason Nadolney had a strong outing, allowing two runs (one earned) on just three hits and a walk with three strikeouts in five innings. He needed only 63 pitches in an efficient performance.
Senior second baseman Jack Hanson was 2-for-3 for the Skippers, including the game’s only extra base hit, a leadoff double to left center in the fifth inning.
Minnetonka had a runner in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth inning.
Material from the Minnesota State High School League was included in this report
Updated: June 18, 2018 05:47 PM
Created: June 18, 2018 05:16 PM
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