ST. CLOUD -- After opening the Region 7B baseball tournament with wins Friday and Saturday, the Brainerd Bees stand poised to earn their first trip to the state tournament since 1999.
The Bees pounded Coon Rapids 17-4 in their opening game Friday and beat a tough Blaine squad, which had won 41 games this season, 8-4 Saturday.
Brainerd's two wins gave them the chance to face Cold Spring Sunday with the winner going to the Class B state tournament. Cold Spring has been to the state tournament 16-straight times.
Bees 8, Blaine 4
Brainerd's Josh Smith had a sparkling day at the plate, going 4-for-5 with an RBI single in the second and a two-run home run in the seventh.
Mark Germain started things off for the Bees with a two-run single in the first inning. Germain finished with two hits, as did Tim Martin and Nate Thomas. Martin and Jon Reis both chipped in with an RBI apiece.
Mike Shogren pitched a solid game for the Bees to pick up the win. Shogren tossed 8 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with three walks and two strike outs.
But Shogren got in trouble in the ninth inning, loading the bases with two outs. Darren Goltz came on in relief and got the Blaine hitter to fly out on the first pitch to end the game.
Bees 17, Coon Rapids 4
Thomas led the hot Bees batters, going 3-3 with two doubles, two walks and scored four runs. Keith Peterson and Martin also played big roles in the Bees' offensive onslaught as both were 3-4 with three RBI. Martin had two doubles and scored three runs while Peterson added a double of his own.
Smith had two hits, three RBI, three runs and a double while Goltz had two hits, a double and two RBI.
Besides hitting, Peterson picked up the win on the mound, pitching seven complete innings and giving up four runs on nine hits with one walk and seven strike outs.
WP -- Mike Shogren. Save -- Darren Goltz. HR -- B-Josh Smith. RBI -- B-Smith (3), Tim Martin, Jon Reis.
Coon Rapids 4
WP -- Keith Peterson. 2B -- B-Nate Thomas (2), Peterson, Martin (2), Smith, Goltz. RBI -- B-Peterson (3), Martin (3), Smith (3), Goltz (2). Overall -- Brd. 19-9. Next game -- Brainerd at Region 7B tournament vs. Cold Spring 7 p.m. Sunday.
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