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Paynesville Press - June 11, 2003

Dogs eliminated at sections

By Michael Jacobson

Senior Josh Kampsen Nearly everything went right for the Bulldogs baseball team in the playoffs in 2002, when the team enjoyed a great playoff run, winning eight of ten games and making the school's first state appearance in the sport, finishing fifth in Class AA.

The Bulldogs appeared to be ready to make a similar run in 2003, having won ten of its last 11 games and winning the subsection title for a second year in a row. However, the Dogs' postseason run this year ended in the Section 5AA tourney last week with back-to-back losses to Waconia and ACGC.

Senior Josh Kampsen delivers a pitch in the Section 5AA tournament against ACGC last week at Faber Field in St. Cloud. Kampsen tied the school record for homers in a season with a three-run blast against ACGC, but the Dogs lost 5-4 to ACGC and 14-4 to Waconia and were eliminated.

The Bulldogs lost to Waconia 14-4 on Monday, June 2, and lost to ACGC 5-4 on Tuesday, June 3, at Faber Field in St. Cloud and were eliminated from the playoffs.

In two games, the Bulldogs committed nine errors, allowed 12 unearned runs, and managed only eight hits. "We did not play very well defensively in regions and when you get to regions you need all facets of the game: defense, pitching, and hitting," said coach Brad Skoglund, whose squad ended the season with a record of 13-7.

Junior shortstop Chad Stang Against Waconia, the Bulldogs jumped to a 4-0 lead by scoring four times in the top of the first inning. Senior centerfielder Josh Krupke had a bases-loaded double to score three runners, and senior Scott Thomes drew a bases-loaded walk to score the other run. The Dogs had only two hits in the inning but benefited from five walks.

Waconia scored on a passed ball in the second inning and then exploded in the third and fourth innings, scoring ten runs, nine unearned. In the third, Waconia had three hits and benefited from two Paynesville errors while scoring four runs. In the fourth, the Bulldogs committed three errors as Waconia scored six more runs.

Junior shortstop Chad Stang throws to first to record an out for the Bulldogs against ACGC.

Waconia added another unearned run in the sixth inning and scored two earned runs in the seventh.

According to Skoglund, the Bulldogs played nervously against Waconia. "We haven't played that bad all year," he said. "The scoreboard said seven errors, but I think the scoreboard was generous. You just can't make mistakes like that against quality ball clubs."

Junior righthander Adam Kampsen ran his scoreless pitching streak to 21 innings before Waconia scored in the second inning.

On Tuesday against ACGC - who beat Belle Plaine 15-14 on Monday - the Bulldogs were three outs from advancing to play Waconia for the section title, but the Falcons rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 5-4.

Paynesville led 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, but ACGC started the inning with back-to-back hits and then used a throwing error, an intentional walk, and a fielder's choice to score two runs and win.

Waconia then beat ACGC 14-1 on Thursday for the section title and advanced to the state tournament for the first time in school history.

The Bulldogs had trounced ACGC 10-0 in five innings in the subsection final, but the Falcons got early momentum by scoring two runs on three hits in the first inning.

The Bulldogs - who led 8-0 after two innings the last time they played ACGC - did not have a hit until the third inning this time. That hit, though, was huge. After juniors Chad Stang and Adam Kampsen walked with two outs, senior Josh Kampsen hit a three-run homer to left, giving the Dogs a 3-2 lead. The homer was Kampsen's tenth of the season, tying the school record held by Dustin Looman.

Junior rightfielder Adam Hemmesch But ACGC tied the score with two hits in the bottom of the third.

The Bulldogs scored another two-out run in the top of the fourth inning as Jon Hemingson, a ninth grader, singled, stole second, and scored on a single by junior Adam Hemmesch.

Junior rightfielder Adam Hemmesch dives but fails to make a catch in foul Neither team scored again until the seventh inning, although both had threats. The Bulldogs picked a runner off second base with two on and nobody out to defuse one ACGC threat. Senior righthander Brad Hopp came on to pitch in the top of the seventh inning, getting one out and stranding the bases loaded with Bulldog baserunners.

territory against ACGC.

In the seventh, ACGC got back-to-back base hits to start the inning and then bunted right back to pitcher Josh Kampsen, who overthrew third trying to get the lead runner. The tying run scored on the play and the other runners moved to second and third. With no one out, the Bulldogs intentionally loaded the bases, but ACGC's cleanup hitter hit a grounder off the end of first baseman Justin Butkofski's glove. Second baseman Russ Leyendecker grabbed the ball but his desperation throw to the plate was late.

Skoglund said ACGC played very well and deserved to win. "It's not always the best team who wins," he said. "It's the team who plays the best for seven innings."

The Bulldogs started the season ranked #2 in the state in Class AA, but Skoglund said he was pleased to have finished second in the conference, to have won the subsection again, and to have made it back to the section tournament.

The Bulldogs, Skoglund noted, lost seven senior starters from 2002. He credits the team with lifting weights, hitting, and improving in the offseason and practicing like a state-caliber team all spring.

In 2002, the Bulldogs were last in the conference and had a regular season record of 7-11 before their great postseason run. This year, the Bulldogs were 6-4 in the conference and were 11-5 in the regular season.

Making that state appearance did raise the bar for the program, said Skoglund, in that the team did want to make it back to state this year. "Let's face it: only eight teams make it to state out of 135 in the state. It's a tough accomplishment," said Skoglund, who also thanked the Paynesville fans for their fantastic support in the playoffs.

Monday, June 2
Paynesville-- 400 000 0 - 43 7
Waconia-- 014 601 2 - 14 11 1

Paynesville - Batting: Josh Krupke 1-4 2B RBI-3; Adam Kampsen 1-4 R; Justin Butkofski 1-3; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Kampsen (L) (7-11-14-3-6-6).

Waconia - Batting: Chris Bullis 2-5 R-2; Mike Groschen 2-3 2B RBI-2; Andrew Frederickson 1-3 R-2; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Frederickson (W) (7-3-4-4-7-8).

Tuesday, June 3
Paynesville-- 003 100 0 - 45 2
ACGC-- 201 000 2 - 5 8 0

Paynesville - Batting: Josh Kampsen 2-3 HR RBI-3; Adam Hemmesch 1-3 RBI; Adam Kampsen 1-3 R; Jon Hemingson 1-3 R; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Josh Kampsen (L) (6-8-5-4-1-5).

ACGC - Batting: Quincy McNeil 2-3 2B R-2; Mike Malvin 2-4 R; Brad Hopp 1-4 R; Luke Wallace 1-3 RBI; Eric Nelson 1-4 2B RBI-2; Pitching: (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) Malvin (6.2-4-4-4-7-6); Hopp (W) (0.1-0-0-0-0-0).

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