Baseball: Irish eliminated by Eagan in second consolation round
The Rosemount Irish baseball team had its season end this past weekend in Dundas. Rosemount, who was the No. 3 seed in Section 3AAAA, beat No. 6 Apple Valley 10-0 in five innings on Monday, May 28, but then fell in the second round to No. 7 Burnsville 4-3 on May 31. Then on Friday, play transitioned to Memorial Park in Dundas where the Irish fell to No. 4 Eagan 9-2 and were eliminated.
Pitching and situational hitting were what cost the Irish in their loss to the Wildcats. Three Rosemount pitchers combined to walk 11 batters as they struggled with their control, and combine that number with eight hits and it resulted in the nine runs for Eagan. Meanwhile, the Irish actually out-hit Eagan 10-9 but stranded 10 runners on the basepaths.
Senior Aidan Maldonado started on the mound for the Irish but was hot and cold in his four innings of work. In the first inning a walk cost him as Eagan moved the runner over with a bunt and scored on an RBI-single to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. Senior Cole Kraemer got that run back in the bottom of the inning as he grounded out to bring in sophomore Connor Kenefick and tie the game, but that would be the only run Rosemount would score until the bottom of the seventh.
Maldonado struck out the side in the second in a brilliant display, but then began to struggle in the third, walking four batters, which along with two hits allowed Eagan to score three runs and lead 4-1. He then helped set Eagan down 1-2-3 in the fourth but was pulled after that inning and relieved by sophomore Logan Shaffer and later Kraemer. Eagan continued to wear down the Irish by scoring one in the top of the fifth and four more in the top of the sixth. Rosemount managed one run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI-single by junior Nick Magnusson, but lost 9-2.
Maldonado pitched four innings and gave up four runs on four hits and five walks, but also had four strikeouts. Shaffer threw 1 ⅓ innings in relief and gave up four runs on three hits and two walks. Kraemer came in for the final 1 ⅔ innings and gave up one run (unearned) on one hit, two walks and an error by the Irish defense. He also struck out three batters. On offense, Kenefick and senior Collin Chalmers led the team with two hits each, while Kraemer and Magnusson each had an RBI.
Looking ahead to next season, Rosemount loses quite a bit to graduation as 12 seniors move on: Grant Horsager, Brian Vanyo, Maldonado, Noah Wuellner, Cole Schnichels, Chalmers, Kraemer, Devin Beck, Sullivan Lanoue, Keenan Wenzel, Jacob Brown and Bryant Galvez. Maldonado will continue his baseball career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the Fighting Illini.