Flandreau had Alexandria’s number again in the state tournament.
The Cardinals and Angels, who have played in four of the past six Class B state amateur baseball tournaments, collided in the quarterfinals again Thursday at Cadwell Park.
Flandreau -- just like in 2018 -- ended Alexandria’s chance at a three-peat in the quarterfinal round. On Thursday, the Cardinals defeated the Angels, 5-3, to advance to the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Saturday against Dimock-Emery. Alexandria, which won the past two state titles, was also defeated by Flandreau, 4-3, in 11 innings in the 2018 quarterfinals.
“They’ve still gotten the best of us more times than we have them,” Flandreau manager/pitcher Bret Severtson said. “But just the atmosphere tonight and that’s amateur baseball at its best right there. They are the team to beat every tournament right now. So we know we have to show up like that if we are going to get it done for ourselves.”
Thursday’s matchup came on the heels of local teams -- Plankinton and Dimock-Emery -- battling it out in another quarterfinal contest. The Alexandria-Flandreau contest lasted two-hours, 51-minutes.
The Cardinals (15-10) held Alexandria’s bats in check and used four pitchers on the night. Severtson earned the win after throwing 4.1 relief innings, allowing four hits, one earned run and had six strikeouts. Flandreau also threw starter Drew Weber (2 IP) and relievers Zach Weinandt (1.2 IP) and Dallas Schneiderman, who earned the save in one inning of relief.
“Their lineup is as tough as it gets,” Severtson said. “We knew we had to give them some different looks and we needed to win tonight. We wanted to win tonight, but we have some more baseball to play, too. So we had to keep that in the back of our minds when we were trying to squeeze innings out of everyone.”
The Angels (17-4) managed seven hits on the night, but left 16 runners stranded on base.
“We left way too many runners on base,” Alexandria manager/left fielder Peyton Smith said. “I think we left the bases loaded three or four times. If we could have just gotten those one or two timely hits, it could have been a whole different ball game.”
In the first inning, Flandreau seized early momentum with a 2-0 lead, scoring on a passed ball and Aiden Ladd an RBI double. In the third inning, Alexandria evened it at 2-2 on an Aaron Groeneweg ground out and a fielding error.
The Angels threatened again in the fourth inning. Tyson Gau was walked to load the bases with two outs, but Jordan Gau grounded out to end the threat.
Flandreau scored three crucial runs in the fifth inning. Jacob Patterson cracked a deep fly ball to left field, scoring Drew DeMers for a 3-2 advantage. With the bases loaded, Tim Huber was hit by a pitch and Patterson scored on a wild pitch for a three-run lead.
Alexandria starter Jed Schmidt was replaced by Ethan Davis in the next inning. Schmidt lasted five innings, allowed three earned runs, struck out six batters and walked one.
“He threw well enough to win,” Smith said. “If we get some of those timely hits and we had three errors. That didn’t help us out. If we cut those down and who knows how many runs they score off them. It’s just the errors and the timely hitting wasn’t on tonight for us.”
In the sixth inning, Alexandria again had an opportunity to cut into the deficit. Michael Schoetter was hit by a pitch and Tyson Gau singled with no outs. But a strikeout, a pop out and another strikeout keep it at 5-2.
“We made huge defensive plays and big strikeouts and made pitches when we needed to,” Severtson said. “That’s what it takes and stay away from the one mistake and we were able to do that tonight.”
In the eighth inning, Cole Wenande scored on a wild pitch for Alexandria’s final run. Schneiderman threw a scoreless ninth inning to seal the win.
For the Angels, their 12-game state tournament winning streak was stopped. The Cardinals were responsible for both of Alexandria’s last two tourney losses. The Angels have won five Class B state championships since 2013.
“It was another fun year and hopefully we can make another run next year,” Smith said.