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Baseball: Meyer, Royals advance to Class 4A semifinals

Max Meyer throws a pitch early in a June 15 state quarterfinals matchup against Champlin Park. Blaze Fugina / RiverTown Multimedia

Woodbury’s offense scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning, and ace pitcher Max Meyer handled the rest.

The Royals rallied for two runs in the top of the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie with Champlin Park in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A baseball tournament. The sixth inning rally ended up being enough, but Woodbury made sure by adding two more runs in the seventh for a 4-1 victory on June 15 at CHS Field in St. Paul.

“The past 10 games or so we’ve been getting really big hits at the biggest moments that we can,” Meyer said after tossing a complete game. “Pitching, we’ve been trying to pound the zone. Our bats are the big thing.”

Nolan Glunz drove home the first run of the sixth inning rally on a sacrifice bunt. Luke Paulson followed with a RBI groundout. Woodbury added two more runs in the seventh inning, starting with a Brock Rinehart bunt single that drove home one run. Karl Scheit followed with a one-out RBI double.

Offense and strong pitching from Meyer were key, but that was not all Woodbury head coach Kevin McDermott noted from his team. Strong defense also played a role in the Royals' victory.

“We went through our entire section without an error, and that continued today,” McDermott said. “We executed some big plays.”

Meyer threw seven innings and allowed just one Champlin Park run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Meyer did not feel like he had his best command, allowing four hits and four walks. But he avoided any big innings in the playoff victory.

“I did not feel like I was at my sharpest,” Meyer said. “I don’t know what was going on really. The ball was slipping out of my hand or something. I couldn’t really find the zone well, but I’m glad that real timely hitting got four runs on the board.”

The Royals will next play Forest Lake at 2:30 p.m. on June 16 at CHS Field in the Class 4A semifinals. The Rangers defeated Maple Grove 6-5 in eight innings.