Last season the Rosemount Pipers got hot at the end of their inaugural season and carried that over into a run to the North Star Classic Baseball League state championship.
This year the team lost four of its last five games to close out the season, and couldn’t turn it on at state. The Pipers lost two out of three games over the weekend at Alimagnet Park in Burnsville to wrap up a 9-11 season.
“Our season ended in disappointing fashion. Last year, we got hot at the right time and hit the ball well every game once the state tournament began. This year, our defense was better and pitching was good, but our bats were streaky all year,” Rosemount player/manager Ken Fry said. “Although we were a strong team on paper with the additional players we added, we had a lot of guys missing at the state tournament and throughout the year due to prior commitments.”
The inconsistent lineup led to inconsistent production at the plate, and the Pipers managed just one run in each of their losses at state. They opened with a 4-1 loss to the Edina Crosstown Traffic - a team they had not lost to previously - in the opening round Saturday, and then after defeating Miesville 8-1, got knocked out 2-1 by Monticello Sunday afternoon.
“Our final game was hard to swallow,” Fry said. “We outhit them 9-3 and Dan Hegberg pitched another rock solid compete game.… We left too many guys on base, it’s that simple.”
It was Hegberg’s second complete game of the day. He held Miesville to one run on four hits, and then came back with six more innings against Monticello.
“I had no intentions of pitching Dan both games, but when he came back to me and said his arm feels pretty good and he wants the ball, I didn’t think twice,” Fry said. “He’s our ace and I figured he’d throw an inning or two. He pitched great in both games.”
Jason Moe supplied three hits against Monticello, including a pair of doubles. Hegberg and Charlie Borrell were each 2 for 4 and Fry drove in the team’s lone run with a third-inning groundout.
Fry, Hegberg and Sean Boos each had two hits against Miesville. Fry drove in a run with a first-inning single, clubbed a three-run homer in the fourth and added an RBI groundout in the sixth.
Chris Barnick and Jamie Wiesner each supplied a hit, a run scored and an RBI.
The Pipers recorded five hits in the tournament opener. Wiesner drove in the lone run and allowed four runs while walking six over seven innings on the mound.
“That was a game I thought we should have won,” Fry said. “It’s a team we’ve never lost to and I thought Jamie Wiesner pitched well enough for us to win. We just didn’t hit well.”