By Scott Ludwig
Skyline League champion and tournment host St. Anthony opened play on day two of the Class A state tourney against the Bloomington Bandits, who were the four seed out of the Riverview League. The Hogs got a strong outing from starter Bennett Wiggins and two big home runs on their way to a 5-1 victory.
St. Anthony struck first in its first trip to the plate when Wiggins was hit by a pitch. After recording an out Hogs lefty Ryan Bernardy came to bat and crushed a fastball out of the park toward St. Anthony Middle School for an early 2-0 advantage.
Bloomington pitcher Nick Seipel seemed to settle in after the first though, helping keep his team in the game. Seipel pitched six innings allowing just four hits, walking four and striking out four.
The score remained 2-0 until the seventh inning when Bandits outfielder Garrett Ganski took first on a hit-by-pitch. Ganski stole second and a few pitches later scored all the way from second on a wild pitch. Hogs catcher Ryan Firkinhoff had difficulty locating the ball which rolled to the backstop.
With the score 2-1 St. Anthony ended hopes of a Bandits comeback in the eighth with a three-run homer hit by Jeff Ostrom.
Next up for the St. Anthony Hogs will be the winner of the Minneapolis MudCats-Highland Park Beavers matchup.