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Baseball: Eagles fall one-run short in section championship

New Life Academy was just a few timely plays away from extending its season in the Class 2A, Section 4 championship against Minnehaha Academy on June 8 at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul.

A three-run bottom of the second inning was too much for the New Life Academy baseball team to overcome in a 3-2 loss to No. 2 ranked Minnehaha Academy.

New Life Academy head coach Dave Darr said the three-run third inning was not aided by misplays or errors by the Eagles. The Redhawks just used some timely hitting.

"They hit the ball where we weren't in that inning, out of the reach of some of our outfielders," Darr said.

The Eagles pushed one run across in the top of the seventh inning, but they could not plate the tying run. Darr said the Eagles had plenty of other innings with opportunities to score runs, but they were not able to produce when it mattered most.

"We would get a couple of guys on, and we just couldn't get them in," Darr said.

Cooper Falteisek and Aaron Bouillon each had two hits for New Life Academy in the game. Falteisek and Henry George scored both runs.

New Life Academy advanced to the championship through the elimination bracket with a 6-1 win against St. Paul Academy on June 6 at Healtheast Sports Complex in Woodbury. The win avenged an earlier 5-9 loss to St. Paul Academy in the tournament. New Life Academy would have needed to win twice against Minnehaha Academy on June 8 to earn a section title.

Four seniors have graduated from this year's New Life Academy baseball team. Two of those longest-tenured seniors include Bouillon, who played varsity since he was a freshman, and George who was a contributor since his sophomore year.

George finished his high school career with 16 triples, which at the time set a MSHSL record.

"It's going to be tough to replace some of those guys," Darr said of the team's four seniors. "It's going to be tough to replace their personalities, first and foremost."

New Life Academy finished the season with a season record of 24-4.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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