With the regular season winding down, Princeton picked up two key Eastern Minny League wins over the weekend. On Friday night, the Panthers held off Rum River 3-2 in 11 innings.
Josh Vickers went the distance for Princeton, striking out six Bandits while allowing just seven hits. The Panthers won it in the bottom of the 11th after loading the bases, then Mark Beattie stroked a shot over the head of the drawn-in left fielder on the first pitch he saw.
Sunday afternoon, the Panthers kept a game ahead of Sartell in the EML West with a 6-5 victory, rallying from a 4-1 deficit. The Panthers scored five runs in the top of the eighth, with Eric Ostmoe supplying a big two-run double and Zack Ludwig adding a run-scoring hit in the stanza. Jesse Zimmer threw seven innings for the win, with Vickers coming back with two innings for the save.
• On Saturday, Mora was led by pitcher Asa Patterson in a 3-1 and 7-5 sweep over Princeton. Patterson allowed just four hits to tip Josh Ludwig in the Game 1 pitchers’ duel. Ostmoe and Brett Becklin pitched for the Panthers in Game 2 where Patterson got the win with 1.3 innings of scoreless relief.
After working this weekend’s Legion Baseball Tourney, the Panthers close the regular season July 24 at Elk River (6:30 p.m.). The Eastern Minny playoffs then begin the weekend of July 27-28.
Eastern Minny Baseball: West Division– Princeton 10-7, 11-10 all; Sartell 9-6, 9-6; Rum River 7-7, 8-9; Nowthen 6-10, 6-13. East Division– Mora 12-2, 18-4; Hinckley 12-2, 16-7; Quamba 3-10, 4-14; Ogilvie 0-15, 0-15.