I suppose it’s fitting that five matchups went the full five games.
8 vs. 9
(9) 1956 Senators 1
(8) 2011 Twins 12
‘56 loses 3-2
During the sixth and seventh innings, this game went from a low-scoring affair to a blowout, ‘11 punching their ticket out of the bracket in a 12-1 rout.
Through five innings, ‘11 had outhit ‘56 three to two, but the visitors had turned their hit into a second-inning run on a Scott Baker wild pitch. But ‘11 put four runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth, knocking Chuck Stobbs from the box with a pair of doubles sandwiching a single, one run coming across and tying the game. Connie Grob faired no better, as three more runs scored on RBI singles from Trevor Plouffe and Ben Revere, plus a wild pitch.
But ‘11 exploded in the eighth, After Jason Kubel’s two-run home run, Bunky Stewart loaded the bases while also notching a pair of strikeouts. Stewart yielded the mound to Pedro Ramos, who immediately surrended a grand slam to Denard Span. ‘11 would add another pair of runs to close the frame.
Brian Duensing relieved Baker to start the seventh and pitched three one-hit innings for the save.
Bunky Stewart, ‘56 RP
4 G, 0-1, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 16.20 ERA
5 vs. 12
(12) 1999 Twins 11
(5) 1981 Twins 3
‘81 loses 3-2
A late offensive explosion propelled ‘99 from the tournament, nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings leading the visitors to an 11-3 trounce.
‘81 took a first-inning lead on Rob Wilfong’s solo home run, but ‘99 tied the score in the fifth on Cristian Guzmán’s sacrifice fly before pulling ahead an inning later when Corey Koskie socked a round-tripper. But after Brad Havens yielded to the ‘81 bullpen to start the seventh, ‘99’s offense exploded.
After Todd Walker greeted Jack O’Connor by swatting a big fly, two singles and a run-scoring error chased O’Connor from the game. Bob Veselic fared little better, allowing a double, two singles, and another run-scoring error to see ‘99 put up a crooked six on the board.
Though ‘81 put up a pair in the bottom of the frame, ‘99 managed another three runs in the eighth before Dan Perkins and Benj Sampson silenced remaining ‘81 bats.
Dave Engle, ‘81 RF
2-16, 2B, BB, SF, R, RBI, 8 K, 12 LOB, .125/.167/.188
4 vs. 13 (played)
(13) 1958 Senators 2
(4) 1957 Senators 3
‘58 loses 3-2
In what remained a pitcher’s duel beyond the standard nine-frame limit, lack of control cost ‘57, as Dick Hyde walked Lou Berberet to drive in the winning run in the 11th inning to kick ‘58 into the quarterfinals by a 3-2 score.
While ‘58’s Pedro Ramos pitched brilliantly, allowing three hits and two runs over 7.2 innings, he was outdone by his ‘57 counterpart Camilo Pascual, who did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and finished with three hits and one run allowed over 7.1 frames.
‘57 opened the scoring in the first when Jim Lemon’s sacrifice fly brought in Eddie Yost, but ‘58 tied the game in the fifth on an RBI fielder’s choice. No runner touched the plate again until Ramos’ final batter in the eighth, when Herb Plews launched a pitch into the right field bullpen to give ‘57 a 2-1 lead.
Unfortunately, ‘58 had opened the seventh and eighth innings with doubles, a pattern which continued in the ninth as Roy Sievers doubled with a full count. A grounder and a single put runners on the corner with one out, but Clint Courtney’s grounder to second forced Plews to throw to first base instead of trying for a game-ending GIDdyuP, bringing in Sievers with the tying run.
Although Dick Hyde struck out Plews to open the home half of the 11th, a single and double put men on second and third with just one out. Hyde intentionally walked Julio Becquer to set up a double play, but his 3-2 pitch to Berberet missed the mark, allowing ‘57 to depart the bracket with grace.
Eddie Yost, ‘58 3B
2-23, 2 1B, BB, 2 R, 7 K, 7 LOB, .087/.125/.087
7 vs. 10
(10) 1982 Twins 1
(7) 2016 Twins 6
‘82 loses 3-2
Miguel Sanó’s bases-clearing double in the bottom of the third provided all the offense ‘16 needed to exit the tournament, but the offense threw in a few more runs for safety as they defeated ‘82 6-1 in the opening round’s deciding game.
Brian Dozier put the first run on the board in the opening inning when he walked, stole second, moved to third on a throwing error, and scored on a groundout, but ‘16 did not break open the game until the third. After a single and two quick outs, Joe Mauer and Jorge Polanco walked, bringing up Sanó to face Bobby Castillo. On a 3-2 pitch, Sanó lined a double to the wall, sending all three runners around the bases to extend the lead to 4-0.
Ron Washington provided ‘82’s sole run with a solo dinger, but ‘16 added two more runs in the eighth before Brandon Kintzler set down ‘82 in the ninth.
John Castino, ‘82 2B
0-17, BB, HBP, 5 K, 6 LOB, .000/.105/.000
2 vs. 15
(15) 2013 Twins 3
(2) 1949 Senators 18
‘13 loses 3-2
The score tells the story of ‘49’s 18-3 bracket-escaping romp.
A six-run fourth inning, prefaced by solo runs in the first three frames, only produced half the scoring for ‘49, as the home team added two in the fifth and seven in the eighth. Three of ‘13’s five pitchers allowed at least five runs, with Caleb Thielbar (two) and Ryan Pressly (zero) the only ones spared a walloping. Eddie Robinson and Eddie Yost swatted homers for ‘49 — in fact, Robinson hit two — and the team totaled 21 hits on the game.
Josh Willingham’s two-run home run was ‘13’s only highlight. They now have another round to produce more.
Samuel Deduno, ‘13 SP
2 G, 0-2, 6.2 IP, 10 H, 13 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 3 HBP, 4 K, 12.15 ERA
Thus the quarterfinals are set: