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Holy Angels Stars advance in Section 4AA baseball

New section, no problem for the Holy Angels baseball team as John Spanier pitched a complete game to lead the Stars to a 7-1 win over the St. Paul Centeal Minutemen in the opening round of the Section 4AA Tournament Saturday afternoon at Donaldson Park in Richfield.

It was the Stars first game in Section 4AA after being reassigned by the Minnesota State High School League last year from Section 5AAA to Section 4AA.

Holy Angels broke through in the bottom of the first on Dan Strittmater's two run double that scored Dan Schaefer and Jack Piram. They added a run in the bottom of the second when Jake Orner led off with a home run over the left center field fence.

The Stars put the Minutemen away in the bottom of the fourth, sending eight batters to the plate and scoring three runs. Orner scored the first run after Nic Benz reached base on a throwing error by Central catcher Quintin Smidzik. Then Schaefer, who was hit by a pitch in the first and second innings, hit a two RBI single to score Andrew Willner and Benz. Joe Sullivan would wrap the the scoring for Holy Angels in the sixth with an RBI single that would score pinch hitter Conor Failor.

Spanier, who opened the game by giving up a lead off double to Morris Pineles, kept the Minutemen from scoring by retiring the next three batter, two on strikeouts. After giving up a single to Sam Gubbrud in the top of the second, he would retire 16 of the next 17 batters. Jon Gubbrud was the only Central player to reach base in that stretch, hitting a single in the top of the fourth.

The Minutemen would get on the board in the top of the seventh after Smdzik grounded out to third base and pinch hitter Jack Sand fanned. Sam Gubbrud and Matthew Hageman would reach base on singles. Central head coach Adam Hunkins sent in another pinch hitter, Chainkhai Her and he would hit and RBI single to score Sam Gubbrud, Pineles grounded out to Stars first baseman Joe Sullivan to end the game.

Spanier, who pitched a complete game, did not walk a batter and struck out nine.

Holy Angels improved their record to 8-12 and advances to the Section 4AA quarterfinals on Tuesday, May 27 against the St. Anthony Village Huskies at 4:30 in St. Anthony Village. Central concluded their season with an 8-11 record.

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