VFW baseball: Woodbury pounds Rice Street 16-0 in opening round of playoffsThe Woodbury VFW baseball team got the job done in the opening round of the Fourth District Tournament on Monday, July 18.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
The Woodbury VFW baseball team got the job done in the opening round of the Fourth District Tournament on Monday, July 18.
Woodbury, the 10th seed, beat 23rd-seeded Rice Street 16-0 in four-and-a-half innings in the single-elimination game, earning a date with seventh-seeded White Bear Lake in the second round on Tuesday, July 19, after the Bulletin went to print. A win over White Bear Lake would put Woodbury in the double-elimination tournament, beginning Thursday, July 21.
“We’ll have our No. 1 pitcher going, so we’ll have a chance,” Woodbury head coach Kevin McDermott said.
In the Fourth District Tournament, the top nine teams earned first-round byes. But, Woodbury was the 10th seed. In the win over Rice Street, Quinten Strub led the way at the plate for Woodbury in the win, going 3-for-3 with a double and three BRI. Also, David Stickels was 2-for-2 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored and Sawyer Moon was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Woodbury scored six runs in the first inning, added one run in the second inning and one in the third inning before blowing the game wide open with an eight-run fourth inning.
“It was a good tune up for the playoffs,” McDermott said. “We mixed up our pitchers and got everyone a chance to play against Rice Street, so we’ll be kind of warmed up and fresh. Hopefully, they’ll gain some confidence from it.”
Prior to the playoff win, Woodbury beat Stillwater — the No. 2 seed in the league — 4-3 and fell to North St. Paul 5-3 in a pair of important district games.
In the win over Stillwater, Nate Wallgren earned the victory, throwing a complete-game, three-hitter, allowing one earned run and striking out one. Wallgren improved to 5-2 with a 1.83 ERA with the outing.
“He’s been our best pitcher this year by far,” McDermott said.
Woodbury broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as Jon Sakazadah had an RBI single and Moon wrapped an RBI double, putting Woodbury up 4-2. Ben Smith led off the key inning with a single.
Against North St. Paul, however, Woodbury suffered a tough setback. Both teams entered the game with a 10-6 record. The win helped North St. Paul earn the fifth seed in the playoffs and dropped Woodbury to the 10th seed.
“That really took us out of a top five spot,” McDermott said. “We were really right there in the mix.”