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Alexandria secures berth in state title game

Twenty-seven up, 27 down and one to go. The Alexandria Angels remained perfect on the season with a 7-2 win over Crofton, Nebraska, in the semifinals of the Class B state amateur tournament on Saturday at Cadwell Park. Alexandria (27-0) will now ...

Alexandria pitcher Trever Vermeulen delivers a pitch against Crofton, Nebraska during the Class B state amateur tournament on Saturday at Cadwell Park. (Ryan Deal/Republic)
Alexandria pitcher Trever Vermeulen delivers a pitch against Crofton, Nebraska during the Class B state amateur tournament on Saturday at Cadwell Park. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

Twenty-seven up, 27 down and one to go.

The Alexandria Angels remained perfect on the season with a 7-2 win over Crofton, Nebraska, in the semifinals of the Class B state amateur tournament on Saturday at Cadwell Park.

Alexandria (27-0) will now play Garretson at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the state championship game at Cadwell Park. It will be the fourth straight state title game appearance for the Angels.

"I feel like if we go out and play as well as we did tonight, we will be in good shape toward the end of the game," Alexandria manager/catcher Chris Marek said after Saturday's win.

The Angels used a familiar recipe to secure another berth in the title game. Alexandria received another solid pitching performance from Trever Vermeulen, who went the distance and recorded 10 strikeouts. He scattered six hits and gave up two earned runs.

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"He is a seasoned-veteran as far he is able to settle in and he doesn't get rattled when a couple of guys get on," Crofton manager Carl Schieffer said. "He is just a smart pitcher."

The Blue Jays managed to get three hits off Vermeulen through the first two innings and led 1-0. Vermeulen then made things tough for Crofton.

"He started spotting up; hitting spots with the fastball," Marek said. "Which then allows all of his other pitches to be more effective. He just settled down."

Once Vermeulen settled down, Alexandria's bats came to life. In the third inning, Armando Rodriguez plated a run on a sac fly and Tyson Gau smacked an RBI single to score Peyton Smith, who led off the inning with a single.

The Angels then tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-1 lead.

"We hit the ball hard and that is what we do," Alexandria shortstop Jordan Gau said. "We just have to get on the base paths and make some stuff happen."

The Blue Jays also committed four errors in the fourth inning that led to the Alexandria scoring barrage.

"You have to play perfect to beat a well-groomed team and today wasn't our day," Schieffer said

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Crofton took advantage of an Alexandria error in the top of the fifth inning and scored to cut it to 5-2.

With runners on second and third, Jordan Gau then smacked a two-run triple to right field to make it 7-2 in the bottom of the seventh.

"I knew in the at-bat before he got me pretty good with a fastball," Gau said. "I kind of expected he was going to go back to it. I just kind of stayed through the ball and was taking it where it was. It was fun to produce for the guys and all-in-all it was a fun night."

Devon Munter took the loss for Crofton. He lasted three innings, walked two and allowed two runs.

Crofton was aiming for its first title berth since 2012, when it was runner-up. The Blue Jays won the state title in 2011.

Tyson Gau and Richard Sternberg added two hits for the Angels. Smith went a perfect 3-for-3 for Alexandria, which has lost the last two state championship games. The Angels won the 2013 championship and they can add another crown on Sunday.

Crofton 100 010 000-2 6 5

Alexandria 002 300 20x-7 11 1

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WP: Trever Vermeulen. LP: Devon Munter. Pitchers: Trever Vermeulen and Chris Marek; Devon Munter, Rand Thygeson (4) and Carl Schieffer. 2B: Crofton, Thygeson, Kyle Mueller; 3B: Alexandria, Jordan Gau.

Related Topics: CADWELL PARK
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