The Mounds View VFW team placed third in the state tournament after losing to Buffalo for the second time, 5-1, on Saturday.
The Mustangs lost their state opener to Buffalo 4-1, then won four games to stay alive before falling to the same team, over three days at Brainerd. They finished the season 34-5.
“Going into the tournament,” said coach Darcy Ruff, “I felt the top two teams, Mounds View and Buffalo, were paired against each other in the opening round, with records at that point of 30-3 and 30-4, respectively.”
The Mustangs beat Owatonna 7-4, Austin 11-8, Grand Rapids 7-4 and Chaska 7-1 to keep going.
Ruff said the boys were disappointed to finish third “but felt good about showing some grit and mental toughness” in winning four games.
Pitching solidly were starters Luke Morrisette and Andrew Boeser and relievers Blake Guerin and Logan Girmm. Top hitters were Guerin and Will Rogers.
Buffalo “was good in all aspects of the game with some great pitching,” Ruff said, and used its No. 1 pitcher, Evan Soeffker, in each game against them.
Buffalo finished runner-up to Foley. They lost some players for disciplinary reasons during the tournament and their best player with an injury, Ruff said.
In the Mustangs 7-1 win over Chaska, Morrisette was winning pitcher, giving up six hits and one walk, with two strikeouts. The Mustangs had only two hits but collected 10 walks. Boeser had a single, two walks, two runs and and RBI.
In the 5-1 loss to Buffalo, they were limited to four singles, a double and three walks, facing Soeffker and reliever Cole LaPlante. Cole Hinkel took the loss, giving up five runs (two earned, as the Mustangs made four errors) in six innings. Guerin threw a scoreless seventh.
The Mounds View team was sponsored by Spring Lake Park VFW Post 6587.