The Faribault Lakers ended their 2019 season one win away from a third consecutive trip to the Class C state tournament.
Playing Friday night at Bell Field with its ace, Matt Bell, on the mound, Faribault dropped a tight 2-1 game to the St. Benedict Saints, who qualified for the state tournament with the victory. The Lakers and Saints split a pair of regular-season contests before Friday’s playoff tilt.
St. Benedict took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning before pushing the advantage to 2-0 in the top of the eighth. Faribault was able to lessen the gap to 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, but were unable to push a second run across.
Lane pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Lakers while striking out 10 batters, before Porter Sartor tossed the next 3 2/3 innings while allowing a run. Lane also drove in the only run of the game for Faribualt, while Mitch Johnson recorded a pair of hits.
St. Benedict was paced by a solid outing on the mound from Tanner Oakes, who struck out 13 batters across 8 1/3 innings, before Jeremy Heitkamp earned the save by recording the final two outs of the ninth inning.
The Saints entered the Region 3C playoffs as the seventh seed and have now won five of their last six postseason games with upsets over third-seeded New Prague, fourth-seeded Faribault and sixth-seeded Prior Lake.