Many Warriors wore eye black, a trademark of the 1995 team. Many 1995 players attended this year's tournament.
"I've been waiting for this since I saw the '95 team win it," Ericson said. "We wore eye black out of respect for the '95 team."
Many Warriors were almost shellshocked following their achievement.
"It's kind of like it hasn't happened yet," winning pitcher Eric Bolt said. "It doesn't seem like it was the state championship we just won."
"I'm extremely happy," left fielder Chris Macy said. "I'm still kind of in shock. At the beginning of the season I didn't see this coming. We came together at the end of the year. We had a good season all-around."
"I didn't think we would go this far but I knew we would be good," Berg said. "We came together every game. The farther down the season we got better. We played great."
CAPTION:Brainerd Warrior baseball fan Drew Boland cheered for his team at Midway Stadium in St. Paul Friday night. The Warriors pleased their fans by clinching the Minnesota State Class 3A baseball title 4-1 over the Lakeville Panthers.
HEAD:Warriors gallop past Mustangs in semifinals
By MIKE BIALKA
ST. PAUL -- Few in the stands at Midway Stadium Friday afternoon may have thought the Brainerd Warriors had a chance to beat the Mounds View Mustangs in the semifinals of the Class 3A state baseball tournament.
The second-ranked Mustangs had galloped past top-ranked and unbeaten Cretin-Derham Hall 5-1 in the quarterfinals. Mounds View had six players from the Tri City Red team that won the 1999 American Legion World Series. And, the Mustangs had lean left-hander Pete Wiedewitsch, 19-0 as a high school pitcher, on the mound.
Brainerd overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to stun Mounds View 4-0 as senior right-hander Matt Yde pitched the game of his life.
Yde spun a 4-hitter, struck out three and walked just one. He had near-perfect control, roping the Mustangs with two pitches -- a fastball and curveball.
"We knew they expected to win," Yde said. "Being one of the top teams in the state they probably expected to blow us out of the water. That's the way we like it.
"No one looks at us as being that good. I think everyone underestimates us. We just go out, play our best, and whatever happens, happens."
Catcher Kyle Berg, who deposited an approximate 390-foot shot over the right-center field fence in the fifth, said Yde happened to hit his target all afternoon.
"I would call it and he hit everything, in and out, no matter where it was," Berg said. "His curveball was working great. He worked everyone over. He pitched a great game."
Yde permitted only five Mustangs to reach base. Only one advanced beyond first. That occurred in the top of the seventh. With two out Mounds View's Dan Genung slapped a ground ball that Warriors second baseman Nathan Thomas slid to spear. Thomas threw wildly past first, enabling Genung to advance to second. Yde ended the game with a ground ball to first base.
"Matt sure picked the right time to pitch his best game of the year," Scearcy said. "I don't think there's any doubt about that.
"The thing we like about Matt is he's very calm. He has the ideal temperament to be a pitcher. The fact he's an all-around athlete, that he's been through the wars a lot in football, basketball and baseball, served him well today.
"A lot of times with that kind of a lead (4-0) going into the seventh you worry that your pitcher is going to get too high and walk a couple guys. When Matt threw the first pitch for a strike to the first man (in the seventh) we felt good."
The Warriors felt good early at bat as they opened the scoring in the second. With one out Ty Adams walked, took second on a passed ball and scored an unearned run on Rob Lien's single to left.
Brainerd bolted ahead 2-0 in the third. Berg walked, stole second and went to third when Thomas' bunt was fielded by Wiedewitsch but the Mustangs were late to cover first. Berg scored on Chris Macy's ground ball to second.
With two out in the fifth Berg got a 2-2 fastball up in the wind for his ninth home run of the season.
"It was a fastball outside," Berg said. "He was working me outside all day. I had a feeling he was going there. I hit it hard. It felt great. I didn't know if it was going to go out. I was running and no one said anything until I got around second."
The Warriors added an insurance run in the sixth. With one out Macy doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Pinch hitter Adam Hardy scored Macy with a bloop base hit to right.
Wiedewitsch walked just two, struck out six and gave up six hits and three earned runs.
"Their pitcher was all over the place," Scearcy said. "At the same time he was throwing good strikes. He was not walking people. We didn't get a lot of good swings."
Mounds View 000 000 0 --0 4 0
Brainerd 011 011 x --4 6 1
MV -- Pete Wiedewitsch and Brad Baglien. Brainerd --Matt Yde and Kyle Berg. W -- Yde (9-0). L -- Wiedewitsch (7-1).
E -- B, Nathan Thomas. LOB --MV 5, B 2. 2B -- MV, Drew Huber; B, Chris Macy. 3B -- B, Kevin Ericson. HR -- B, Berg. SB -- B, Berg. CS -- Macy. WP -- Wiedewitsch. PB --Baglien. RBI --B, Berg, Macy, Hardy, Lien. Time --1:17.
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