First Report: No. 5 Lakeville North defeats No. 4 Anoka 3-0 in 3A state quarterfinals

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Nick Lieser

Junior pitcher Billy Riach pitches a strike exemplifying his delivery through the fifth inning.

Nick Kelly, Baseball Beat Reporter

Lakeville North junior Billy Riach pitched six shutout innings to propel No. 5 seeded Lakeville North to a 3-0 victory over No. 4 seeded Anoka in the Class 3A state baseball quarterfinals at CHS Field in St. Paul on Friday.

Riach gave up seven hits, no runs and pitched one strikeout in six innings pitched.

The Anoka defense came out strong in the state quarterfinals. In the early innings, two Lakeville North runners–Angelo Altavilla and Tyler Fietek–hit singles but were both picked off at first.

The Panthers also showcased their defense in the early innings. In the bottom of the second, second baseman Mitch Frederick dove to stop the ball and threw the runner out at first after first baseman Grant Gunderson fielded the low throw and stepped on the base. The Panthers followed up the defensive stop by tagging out Ryan Streeter at second after he attempted to reach second.

In the top of the third with the bases loaded, Anoka pitcher Alex Pribyl walked Altavilla on a full count, registering the first run of the game. Lakeville North held a 1-0 lead over Anoka heading into the fourth inning.

The Tornadoes threatened to score in the bottom of the fourth inning. But outfielder Kyle Rhodus rocketed the ball to home plate, throwing out the runner and keeping Anoka scoreless.

Rhodus continued to find success at CHS Field, starting the fifth inning off with a double to right center field. Teammate Nick Juaire later followed up Rhodus’ hit with an RBI-double, scoring Rhodus and giving Lakeville North a 2-0 lead over the Tornadoes.

Brett Herber hit the ball just inside the right field line, getting to third and scores with a sacrificial-fly from Mitch Frederick. Lakeville North held a 3-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth.

The Lakeville North defense continued its dominance in the bottom of the sixth. A 5-4-3 double play put two quick outs on the board for the Panthers. Despite runners on first and third later in the inning, Lakeville North kept the Tornadoes from scoring, maintaining a 3-0 lead heading into the seventh inning.

Lakeville North third baseman Joey Larson made it to third in the top of the seventh, but the Panthers were unable to score.

Grant Gunderson came in to close in the bottom of the seventh and allowed no runs.