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Tom Larson / Forum News Service, Published June 14 2013

New York Mills' baseball season ends with third place at state

JORDAN, Minn. – For the third straight year, the New York Mills baseball team played its final game of the season at the Minnesota Class A state baseball tournament.

It just hasn’t yet been the right game.

Osakis pitchers Kilar Zimmel and Jordan Frederick threw off the Eagles’ timing with an array of pitches, speeds and spots, and the Silverstreaks will play in the Class A final following their 3-0 semifinals victory at the Mini Met.

Osakis will play BOLD, which defeated defending champion St. Agnes 12-4 in Friday’s first semifinal. New York Mills downed St. Agnes 5-1 in Friday night’s third-place game.

New York Mills finished 21-3. The Eagles were 24-1 last year, placing fifth in the Class A tournament after their 18-6 teams qualifying for the tournament but lost both its games in 2011.

“I’m extremely pleased with these guys,” Eagles head coach Chris Bushinger said after the semifinals defeat. “It’s been a great season. For a small public school like New York Mills, out in rural Minnesota, to make three-peat appearances in the state tournament is pretty remarkable.”

The Eagles earned their semifinals berth with a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning to down Floodwood 6-5 in Thursday’s quarterfinals. On Friday, they ran into two very skilled Osakis pitchers.

Zimmel, who started, allowed just one hit and a walk in five innings, striking out five. Frederick relieved and worked the final two innings, surrendering three hits, to get the save.

“I had my fastball going and then I mixed a curve in there,” said Zimmel, who ran his record to 6-0. “I was just trying to catch them off guard. They’re good bats, so the best way to get them out is to keep them guessing.”

Eagles starter Tyler Patron took a tough loss, allowing just one earned run on six hits in six innings. He also had one of the Eagles’ four hits.

“You could tell (Zimmel) has been pitching a while,” Patron said. “He’s so quick to the plate, and he knows how to work hitters and get the corners. It was tough. He was hitting his spots.”

New York Mills stranded seven runners and had a chance in the sixth, loading the bases with two outs. But Frederick got a strike out to end the threat.

“(Zimmel and Frederick) were definitely as good as anybody we’ve seen this year,” Bushinger said, “but we definitely didn’t do what we needed to do at the plate.”

Three errors didn’t help, he said.

“We made errors, and we threw the ball around, gave them a couple of runs,” Bushinger said. “Rightfully, we probably should have lost 1-0. But credit their pitchers. They threw well.”

NYM 000 000 0–0 4 3

O 111 000 x–3 6 0

T. Patron and A. Patron. K. Zimmel, Frederick (6) and D. Zimmel. W–K. Zimmel (6-0). L–T. Patron (6-1).


Larson writes for the West Central Tribune