Saints one win from state tourney

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Alex Call pitches for KMS during the section tourney.  Call is 8-0 this year and 3-0 during the Section 3A Tourney for KMS, which is set to play in the section championship game, Thursday.  In the background is Weston Gjerde.

The KMS baseball team is one win away from the state tournament after winning its first four games to open up the Section 3A Baseball Tournament.

The Saints, who won the Camden Conference with a perfect 10-0 league mark, were one of two seeds in the Section 3A Tourney.  KMS topped Dawson-Boyd (13-1) and YME (4-1) during the opening two games in Sunburg, Saturday, May 25, and also beat Adrian last Tuesday (7-0) and Minneota, Saturday (10-1), at Milroy.

KMS, now 19-1 overall, has given up just 22 total runs this season.  Murray County Central scored four runs during a 10-4 KMS win earlier this season, but no other team has scored more than two and the Saints have seven shutouts.

“I think our key so far in the postseason, as it has been all season, is our pitching,” coach James Cortez said.  “We only give up about a run a game and we are only giving up three hits a game so it makes it tough on other teams to keep up.”

The Saints, who finished second during last year’s section tourney after losing in the finals to Wabasso (5-0), were set to play the winner of Minneota and Lac qui Parle at 5 p.m., Thursday (tomorrow) at Granite Falls or Milroy.  If KMS loses that game, the two teams would play again for the section title at 7 p.m., but if the Saints win the first game, they are headed to the State Baseball Tournament, which is set to get underway Thursday, June 13 at Jordan.

The Saints also qualified to state in 1991 and 2000.  More about those teams can be found in this week’s Speaking of Sports column on page 3B.

Offensively, Dylan Rudningen leads the Saints with a .446 batting average, but eight KMS regulars are currently batting over .300.  Isaac Call is next at .415, followed by Weston Gjerde (.392), Christian Diederich (.339), Levi Sweere (.333), Noah Thorson (.333), Regan Carlson (.311), and Alex Call (.309).

“Our offense has been pretty good, too, scoring almost 10 runs a game and outscoring our opponents 187-22 for the season,” coach Cortez said.

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