OWATONNA — The Wanamingo Jacks led or were tied for 26 outs of Saturday’s Region 5C elimination game.
The 27th and final out never came.
The Jacks’ season came to a close two wins away from qualifying for the Class C state amateur baseball tournament after a 3-2 loss to the Cannon Falls Bears.
Wanamingo, the No. 4 seed hailing from the Twin Rivers League, struck first in the top of the first inning.
Third baseman Sean Wingfield knocked a single down the line that just missed the glove of the diving left fielder to bring in pitcher Sam Roosen.
Roosen entered 8-0 with one save and a 1.1 ERA on the season. He lived up to the billing.
The righty Roosen coaxed a double play to escape a first-inning jam. He and CF left-hander Keith Meyers were efficient in the second through sixth innings at Dartts Park.
Shortstop Alex Roosen led off the top of the seventh with a double. Wingfield came up big again, tomahawking a high 0-2 pitch into left field for a run-scoring double.
The Jacks had the momentum back, but could not tack on more insurance against Meyers.
Meyers and S. Roosen both pitched the entire way.
The Bears responded in the seventh with a two-out RBI double by Rich Burr that got over the right fielder’s glove. Alex Tauer scored.
Both teams went down quietly in the eighth and the Jacks again in the top of the ninth.
S. Roosen was still going strong on the mound going into the ninth.
An error on a routine play to shortstop put a runner on base, and a misplayed fielder’s choice on a bunt put another runner on.
Burr came up with an RBI single to tie the game with two outs.
Later with two outs and runners on the corners, Zeke Williams hit a hard grounder to shortstop that was bobbled. The winning run came in to score.
CF advanced to the Lake City Serpents Saturday afternoon. Lake City beat the Austin Greyhounds 3-2 to advance and Lake City beat Cannon Falls 2-0.
On Friday in the winners’ bracket, the Red Wing Aces beat the Stewartville-Racine Sharks 7-0.
That dropped S-R down to play Lake City. S-R won 11-1. Lake City earned the third and final seed to state from the region.
Red Wing beat S-R 8-4 to earn the top seed and a bye at state. S-R is the second seed.
Wanamingo closed its season with a 24-6 record. It was among teams receiving votes in the latest Class C state top 10 poll by the Minnesota Baseball Association.
Cannon Falls Bears 3, Wanamingo Jacks 2
W — 100 000 100
C — 000 000 102
Wanamingo batting — Alex Roosen 2-4, R, 2B; Sean Wingfield 1-3, RBI; Matt Houglum 1-3; Eric Swiggum 1-4, R; Gavin Roosen 1-4; Sam Roosen 1-4
Wanamingo pitching — S. Roosen (L) 8 2/3 IP-8H-1ER-3R-0BB-1K