Hitting a pair of home runs over the left-field fence, No. 2 seeded Minnehaha Academy (20-4) defeated unseeded St. Peter (20-5) in the state Class AA baseball semifinals 9-1 Friday at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud.
The Saints advance to the third-place game at about 5 p.m. against No. 5 seeded Paynesville Area, which lost to No. 1 seeded Marshall School of Duluth 3-2. Minnehaha will play Marshall in the championship game at 1 p.m. Thursday at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The Redhawks had home runs by Noah Dehne and Bennet Theisen, who also picked up the win on the mound. The Minnesota Gopher recruit pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run on eight hits, two walks and 11 strikeouts.
“We ran into a pretty good pitcher,” St. Peter coach Kurt Moelter said. “We hit him pretty hard. We had some pretty good at bats against him. We just couldn’t get that big hit when we needed it, and they did. But by no means did we play poorly.
“You’re facing some really good baseball players up here, and there’s no shame in losing to Minnehaha and Paynesville. They won the game. We didn’t give it to them. We didn’t kick the ball around, and we didn’t walk a lot of guys.”
St. Peter also had a round tripper. Second baseman Joey Baron hit one over the 360-foot sign in left for the Saints’ lone run in the fourth inning that cut Minnehaha’s lead to 3-1. Baron finished 2 for 3 with a hit by pitch, an RBI and a run scored.
Also getting multiple hits for the Saints, shortstop Andy Regner went 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base
Three Saints had a hit each: right fielder Hunter Wilmes went 1 for 4, first baseman Wyatt Olson hit 1 for 3, and left fielder Ethan Volk batted 1 for 2.
The Saints left 10 runners on base, while the Redhawks stranded seven.
St. Peter starting pitcher Carson Kennedy lasted 4 innings, allowing five earned runs on nine hits, no walks and one strikeout.
Dylan Graft pitched the next 2⅓ innings, giving up four earned runs on five hits, three walks and two strikeouts.
Isaac Peterson finished up the last ⅔ of an inning with a strikeout.
Minnehaha 003 032 1 — 9 14 0
St. Peter 000 100 0 — 1 8 1
W-Bennett Theisen . L-Carson Kennedy.