Lyle-Pacelli baseball loses to Fosston in Class A title game, 3-2

A’s had the bases loaded but couldn’t more than one run in the top of the seventh.

(ABC 6 News) – Two schools entered CHS Field in St. Paul with dreams of their first-ever Class A Baseball State Championship. The #3 Lyle-Pacelli Athletics and #5 Fosston Greyhounds collided on Friday, June 16 for a shot at history with communities from both sides in tow.

The Fosston Greyhounds scored first in the second inning; Zack Theis lined a hit to third with two on base, but what should have been a routine out at first ended up as an error. L-P’s Jack Klingfus could not field the ball in time, allowing Fosston’s Brecken Levin to reach home for the first run of the day.

L-P fans saw a hint of deja vu in the fourth inning as Levin and Theis extended the Greyhound lead to 2-0; the latter knocking in a sacrifice fly to send home Levin as Lyle-Pacelli’s bats had troubling stifling Hudson Boushee. The Fosston junior went six innings, striking out six while allowing one earned run off four hits.

The lone run under Boushee’s watch came in the top of the sixth with L-P senior Hunter VaDeer on third base. Athletics senior Isaac Nelsen fired off a sacrifice fly to center, sending home VaDeer to cut the lead to 2-1.

Yet, whenever Lyle-Pacelli seemed to creep closer to tying or leading, the Greyhounds kept the A’s at bay. Following the game’s lone steal by Fosston’s Ryne Duppong in the bottom of the sixth, Aaron Norland corked a double to right, giving enough time for Duppong to reach home plate for a 3-1 lead. Athletics starting Mac Nelson was not intimidated despite the score and struck out Theis to close the inning.

Going into the top of the seventh, the stage was set for a major-league-style finish as Fosston brought out closing pitcher Carson Boushee. The switch appeared to be an unwise choice as the Athletics managed to load the bases with no outs as Klingfus singled, Trey Anderson walked and Landon Meyer singled to left center.

The Fosston crew immediately huddled at the mound to talk with Boushee as Lyle-Pacelli had big-time sluggers in Nelson, VaDeer and Truckenmiller all in line for a plate appearance. Boushee prevailed against Nelson, winning the pitcher-versus-pitcher matchup by striking out his Athletic counterpart.

VaDeer was next with the bases still loaded as his discipline in a high-level situation paid off, walking to first as Klingfus trotted home, shortening Fosston’s lead to 3-2.

But the steel nerves of Carson Boushee came through again, Truckenmiller striking out as Lyle-Pacelli’s fans held their breath further with the bases still loaded.

Isaac Nelsen stepped up to bat, the fate of two programs falling on the crucial at-bat. Nelsen aimed right but his hit ended up as more of a chopper, bouncing its way into Breckin Levin’s arms, the Greyhound tagging first for the final out to lift Fosston over Lyle-Pacelli, 3-2 in the Class A Championship.

Mac Nelson pitched six innings allowing five hits and three runs with three strikeouts for the A’s while VaDeer was the team’s leading hitter with 2 hits and an RBI, batting .667 at the plate.

“Mac threw a hell of a game today,” Athletics head coach Brock Meyer noted postgame. “He didn’t throw a whole lot during the year for us but he threw a hell of a game today. He kept his head and he gave us a chance to win, proud of him.”

“That last inning there, we had full confidence that we would come back and win,” Nelson said of the seventh’s finish. “I mean, we didn’t get it done, we had guys on base, some guys worked their counts late in the game to get on base. We fought back but we weren’t able to get it done.”

The Greyhounds finish 24-4 and the Athletics finish 24-2. This was the third straight time a Southeast Minnesota team reached a baseball State championship game following Hayfield’s back-to-back appearances from 2021 to 2022.