by Dennis Dalman
Fresh from a 6-0 triumph in Delano, the Sartell Muskies will compete for the state championship this Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m. in Maple Lake.
Last Saturday, they beat Lake Crystal in the second round of the tournament playoffs. The 6-0 score had the Muskies celebrating, filled with confidence about their chances in the Aug. 31 state playoffs.
How to explain such a clear-cut victory?
“Well, maybe it’s because of the new green jerseys they just got,” cracked coach Randy Beckstrom, chuckling.
Beckstrom called the Sartell Newsleader Saturday afternoon from Delano, just minutes after his team’s win. Beckstrom has been coaching the Muskies for the past 25 years.
The last and only Muskies’ state championship was in 1992 after the team trounced Belle Plaine. Since then, the team has competed four times for the state title but lost all four times. This time around, the team – spiffed up in their brand-new green jerseys – are hoping for the best.
“Baseball’s a tough game to predict,” Beckstrom said, “so I’m not going to. But I’m not nervous, not at all, about next Saturday. I have confidence in the guys, and if we play the way we did earlier, we we’ll be just fine. Today, after the game, we all felt a bit of relief, and I’m excited for the guys.”
In Maple Lake, the Muskies will play either Sobieski or Elrosa, depending on other outcomes of tournament play. It will be the third round toward the state championship. Since the Muskies won the regional tournament, they did not have to compete in round one of state playoffs.
In their win against Lake Crystal in Delano, the Muskies did well with pitcher David Deminsky, who gave up only three hits for the game and had seven strikeouts. Tim Burns scored three hits and three runs batted in. Jake Sweeter had two hits with two runs batted in. Four runs were scored just in the fourth inning.