June 16, 2018 05:32 PM
No. 1 seed Heritage Christian Academy (23-3) used the bat and arm of senior right handed pitcher Seth Halvorsen to defeat No. 2 Sleepy Eye (18-6) 8-0 on Saturday afternoon in the 2018 MSHSL Class A Baseball Championship at Target Field. The game started four hours and 22 minutes late due to heavy rain.
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Just over a week after being drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 30th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, Halvorsen became the fifth player in MSHSL Baseball Tournament history to produce a two home run performance. He was also the game’s winning pitcher, striking out 16 in the shutout including his last six outs via the punch out.
The University of Missouri commit went 3-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and the two home runs. He drove in and scored four runs from the leadoff spot.
Halvorsen went 2-0 across 9.0 shutout innings in his two state tournament appearances, striking out 21 while allowing just five hits and three walks.
He finished his senior year with 117 strikeouts in 52 innings with an 8-1 record.
The shutout was the ninth of the year for the Eagles, who captured the state championship in the program’s first-ever state tournament appearance.
It was a bumpy start in the first inning for Halverson as a light rain continued to fall in downtown Minneapolis. Sleepy Eye loaded the bases in the first inning, but its second out was recorded on an errant pitch with junior catcher Taylor Broderson making the toss to Halvorsen for the tag. He struck out the final batter of the inning as Sleepy Eye left runners on second and third with a chance to take the game’s first lead.
He also stranded a Sleepy Eye runner on third base in the second inning after junior first baseman Jacob Berg led off with a double down the left field line. Berg moved to third on a sacrifice bunt but Halvorsen struck out the next two batters to erase the threat. He only allowed a runner into scoring position one more time in the game, a runner on second with one out in the fourth inning which he once again worked out of with back-to-back strikeouts.
Halvorsen wasted no time giving himself run support, putting the first pitch he saw into the left field bleachers.
The Eagles extended their lead to 3-0 in the second inning when Brodersen hit a two-run double to left field. Batting behind Halvorsen, Brodersen went 2-for-4 with three RBIs as the two players combined to drive in seven runs from the top of the lineup.
Broderson and Halvorsen were joined by sophomore shortstop Jonny Flynn on the All-Tournament Team for the Eagles.
The middle of the Eagles’ lineup also produced, as the 3-4-5 hitters each went 2-for-4.
Carter Brinkman, a senior centerfielder for Sleepy Eye, went 2-for-3 to lead the club from the third spot in the order. Berg and Brinkman each made the All-Tournament Team and were joined by senior Avery Stevens.
Kyle Domeier took the loss for Sleepy Eye as the senior right hander worked the first three innings before senior Zach Haala relieved him for the final three.
Updated: June 16, 2018 05:32 PM
Created: June 16, 2018 05:29 PM
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