New York Mills wins 13-year-old Babe Ruth State Championship
By Kevin Cederstrom
The New York Mills 13-year-olds Babe Ruth team capped an impressive season with a state baseball championship last weekend in Hawley.
NY Mills dominated the tournament, going 4-0, with the closest game being an 8-4 win over Roseau on Friday. The Mills 13-year-olds opened the state tournament in impressive fashion with a 14-0 win over Fergus Falls, followed by the 8-4 win over Roseau on Friday, and 15-2 over Albany on Saturday. Mills won the state title by beating Albany 13-6 in Sunday's championship game.
Mills used powerful hitting at the plate and dominating pitching at times in earning the state title. The tournament named a Player of the Game after each game, with a Mills player taking that honor each day.
New York Mills ended its impressive baseball season with a 29-2 record. NYM coaches Tim Kupfer, Dan Kupfer and Mike Weller thank all the fans and parents who supported the team throughout the year, and for the great turnout all four days in Hawley. Tim Kupfer added, the tournament director couldn't believe all the fans that came every day from New York Mills.
Kupfer said he figured out year-end averages and Mills had four kids hitting .300 or better, four kids who hit .400 or better, and two who hit over .700.
"I think that says quite a bit about what kind of offensive power we had all year," he said. "I stressed all year to put the ball in play and that is what we did, with very few strikeouts over the 31 games we played."
"Defensively, we were fantastic," Kupfer added.
NYM had a six-game stretch at the end of the year (three games at the end of the regular season and three in the playoffs) where the team did not make an error. During the state tournament they only committed four errors and three of them were in the Roseau game.
"We talked every game about putting the ball in play and making the routine plays, and we did that consistently all year," Kupfer said. "The boys played a great tournament. They hit, pitched and played defense, and if a team does that they will win! A tournament official commented to me on how well-behaved and good sports the Mills team was. This is nice to hear!
NYM 14, Fergus Falls 0
Tyler Patron (WP): 4 innings, 9 strikeouts; Tristan Hammans: 1 inning, 2 strikeouts
Brandon Kupfer: 3 -3, 2 doubles and 1 triple; Tyler Patron: 2-3, 2 doubles; Adam Patron: 2-3
Player of the Game: Tyler Patron
NY Mills 8, Roseau 4
Austin Erickson (WP): 4 innings, 4 strikeouts; Josh Still: 2 innings, 3 strikeouts; Tristan Hammans: 1 inning, 2 strikeouts
Brandon Kupfer: 2 -3
Austin Erickson: 1-2
Player of the Game: Austin Erickson
NY Mills 15, Albany 2
Brandon Kupfer (WP): 4 innings, 6 strikeouts (1 run); Tristan Hammans: 1 inning, 2 strikeouts (1 run)
Daniel Kraft: 3-3 single, double, inside the park HR
Taylor Ericksrud: 2-4, 3 runs scored; 4 stolen bases
Nick Bahls: 1-2, inside the park HR
Player of the Game: Daniel Kraft
NY Mills 13, Albany 6
Tyler Patron (WP): 3 1/3 innings; Josh Still: 2 2/3 innings, 3 strikeouts; Adam Patron: 1 inning, 1 strikeout
Brandon Kupfer: 2-4, 3 runs, 4 RBI
Taylor Ericksrud: 2-3, 3 runs
Player of the Game: Brandon Kupfer