The Brainerd Warriors’ 12-run seventh inning allowed them to slip past the Rosemount Irish 16-10 Thursday in the first round of the state baseball tournament at Siebert Field.
Brainerd started the top of the seventh inning trailing Rosemount 6-4, and it appeared that the Irish would get revenge after losing to Brainerd in the state championship game last season.
But 12 hits and 12 runs later, Brainerd had surged ahead for a 16-6 lead, and held on for a six run victory. Junior Chris Studer’s three-run homer highlighted the scoring spree.
The blast was about 380 feet and bounced off the scoreboard in center field, making Studer the first high school player in the history of the state tournament to hit Siebert’s scoreboard.
“I was just trying to get a hit,” said Studer after the game. “I usually hit most of my homers to center.”
The dinger was Studer’s fifth of the season and the fourth that he has hit to center field. It also helped him break out of a slump. Studer was 0-3 before the seventh when he got an infield hit, scored the go-ahead run and then bounced Rosemount pitcher Tom Laughlin’s 2-2 delivery off the scoreboard.
Right fielder Chad Bertram led Brainerd in hitting, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, matching Studer’s run-production. Studer went 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
Rosemount first basemen Brian Ames carried the Irish offense as he went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Shortstop Eric Lonnquist also contributed a 2-for-4 performance, driving in two runs in the losing effort.
Brainerd overcame deficits of 1-0, 6-2 and 6-4 for the win, as Rosemount squandered several opportunities in the game, including a three-run home run by Ames in the fourth.
The Warriors committed six errors to Rosemount’s zero, but still prevailed as they out-hit the Irish 18-11.
Senior Jeff Barrett notched the win for Brainerd. He pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed eight runs, walked three and struck out three.