Baseball: Pioneers almost upset top seed, fall to Coon Rapids 7-6

The Elk River Pioneers gave top-seeded Coon Rapids a scare before losing to the Redbirds 7-6 in Section 8B pool play Sunday evening.

The Pioneers (9-13), who nipped Rogers 10-9 on Saturday, were 1-1 in pool play, advancing to a four-team, double-elimination tournament after two of six teams were ousted. They face St. Michael on Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Winter Crest Field in Coon Rapids.

The Pioneers took a 4-2 lead in the sixth when Lance Johnson doubled home one run and Jake Berwyn knocked in two more with a double.

Coon Rapids scored four in the seventh against Pioneer starter Jim Brown and reliever Harley Thompson to regain the lead — all after two were out with nobody on base. Their rally included a double, single, two walks, and another single, with the last two runs scoring on wild pitches.

Brown went 6 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs (six earned). He walked five and struck out three. Thompson finished.

Thompson went 3-for-5 with a solo  home run that struck a light pole along with an RBI double.

Hits were even at 10 apiece. Andrew Driessen pitched six innings for Coon Rapids. Kyle O’Shea threw two scoreless innings with five strikeouts and got the win. Dan Skog pitched the ninth, giving up one run.

Coon Rapids will take on Albertville on Tuesday evening. On Saturday, the two winners will square off, and the two losers will meet in an elimination game.