Kyle Connelly’s string of shutout innings reached 29 on Saturday but the Zimmerman Thunder lost to unbeaten, No. 2 ranked Minneapolis Washburn 2-1 on a pair of errors in the eighth inning of a Fridley tournament.
The Thunder, who had lost 8-6 to No. 1 ranked Little Falls on Thursday, bounced back to defeat Legacy Christian 7-3 later Saturday with Takuma Padilla pitching.
After facing the one and two ranked teams in Class 2A, the Thunder (6-9) will host No. 4 St. Cloud Cathedral on Tuesday. Little Falls and Cathedral are in Zimmerman’s conference.
“It doesn’t get an easier,” said coach Matt Kraus. “We are playing good ball against some pretty good teams. We lost to two two unbeaten teams by a total of three runs.”
Washburn 1, Thunder 0
Connelly’s last three outings had been four no-hit innings against Milaca (suspended by rain), a no-hit, 5-0 win over Becker and a three-hit, 5-0 win over Foley.
On Saturday the senior right-hander hooked up in a duel with Washburn seniorJosh Pierce on Saturday. Pierce was one of the Star-Tribune athletes-of-the-week on Wednesday. Both have ERA’s under 1.50.
Connelly, who’s 5-5 against a strong slate of teams, struck out eight batters, and allowed just three hits and two walks against Washburn (15-0), throwing over 90 pitches.
In the eighth, Pierce led off with a single, after which Connelly made a throwing error on a bunt, putting runners at second and third. After an intentional walk, an infield error on a grounder scored the game’s lone run.
“Kyle was pitching really crafty and hitting his spots,” said Kraus. “Against a team like that you’ve got to put you curve on the spot with a 3-1 count.”
Meanwhile, Pierce, who went seven innings, had mastery of a curve, knuckler, fastball and changeup, allowing just three hits.
Thunder 7, Legacy Christian 3
The Thunder (6-9) beat Legacy as Padilla went the distance, allowing eight hits and two walks, striking out three, giving up three run (one earned). Connelly was 2-for-4 and was one of six players with an RBI hit, the others being Evan Bye (double), Luke Schmit (double), Collen Sroka, Cory Jopp, and Tony Obinger.
Little Falls 8, Thunder 6
Joey Hanowski slammed a pair of two-run homers to lead Little Falls (14-0) in a game where Zimmerman outhit them 9-6. Brandon Sevry, Thunder rjunior, took the loss, giving up seven runs (five earned) in five innings. Sroka was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI. Connelly and Obinger had two hits each and Sroka had an RBI hit.