6/18/2014 3:00:00 PM Bombers celebrate second highest winning percentage in 20 years
by Ken Haggerty
The Cannon Falls Bomber varsity baseball team held a year-end celebration on June 15 to recognize some team and individual accomplishments.
The team finished the regular season with a 17-3 mark, winning the Blue Division of the Hiawatha Valley League over Pine Island, Kenyon-Wanamingo, Lake City, Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Goodhue and Triton (Dodge Center, West Concord, Claremont.) The team was 11-1 in the Division (a lone 6-5 loss to PI).
That was the third straight HVL Blue title for this group of players and Coach Bucky Lindow. Cannon Falls has 15 titles since 1991.
There was no overall HVL championship game versus Gold Division winner Kasson-Mantorville due to rain. Cannon Falls' only other losses in regular season play were at LaCrescent in the season opener by a 9-8 score and to defending State Champion Kasson-Mantorville, 7-3. The team knocked off Lourdes, Byron and Stewartville in cross-division games.
The team had impressive non-conference wins over perennial power DeLaSalle (ranked in top-ten), AAA top-25 ranked school Simley, and A top-ten ranked Randolph.
In the play-offs, Cannon Falls was seeded third in the sub-section behind Kasson and Lourdes. CF eliminated Stewartville in game one, 10-0 and hosted the double elimination tournament over Memorial Day weekend.
The Bombers lost to eventual Section Champion and State semi-finalist Kasson-Mantorville, 11-4, but survived Saturday elimination with a thrilling 7th inning comeback 5-4 win over Byron.
Cannon Falls' season ended on Memorial Day with a heartbreaking 3-2, 8th inning loss to Rochester Lourdes. Lourdes ended up losing to K-M in the Section Championship game in ten innings.
Coach Lindow said he went to watch the final eight section winners compete at the State Tournament and firmly believes Cannon Falls was a top ten team in AA this year, but just had the hard luck of being in one of the toughest sub-sections in the State. Cannon Falls was ranked in the top ten in both the coaches' poll and the QRF computer ranking at times.
The team was also ranked 14th in the State academically.
The team's final 19-5 overall record was a winning percentage of .791. Lindow said that is second highest in twenty years, behind the 2000 team, which was 19-4.
Individually, the Bombers added some names to the CFHS record book which dates back to about 1989 and collected multiple post-season honors.
Senior Brock Peterson goes into the books with a .460 career batting average, displacing Luke Winchell ('06; .405) for the top spot. Peterson, a very solid defensive shortstop, had a .506 on-base pct., a .507 slugging pct., and a .408 batting average this season with seven doubles and 22 RBI. He was named to the south team for a Minnesota All-Star game this weekend, was All-Section, and is nominated for All-State.
Senior Bryce Boyle Hoban tied Taylor Pagel ('01) for most doubles in a single season (12) in the post-1989 records. Boyle Hoban also had six steals in a single game, a mark Lindow thinks is a best in his twenty years here.
Senior Hunter Blakeslee had five home runs, tying Peter Erickson ('96) and Aaron Stein ('04) for second best single season total, behind Dan Tolvay ('90) and Gabe Rorvig ('09) who had six in a season. Blakeslee missed games early with an injury. He was named All-Section, nominated for All-State
Junior Quinton Lindow had a 5-0 mark on the mound, second best winning percentage behind Tyler Boyle-Hoban's 9-0 ('12).
Levi Prestegard tied the single season top mark for saves (3) with Joe Magistro ('92), Luke Winchell ('05), and Noah Callister ('11). Prestegard, heading to the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, was named Academic All-State. Prestegard battled a back injury this season.
All HVL Blue: Peterson, Boyle Hoban, Blakeslee, junior Jonathan Sharot, junior Carter Dombeck. Prestegard and senior Peter Haggerty were Honorable Mention.
All Sub-Section: Peterson, Boyle Hoban. Honorable Mention: Lindow, Prestegard, Blakeslee, and junior Garrett Beach.
Peterson won the team best hitter award. Senior Taylor Carlson (4-1, 2.73 ERA, 41 K's in 33 innings, .193 opponents average against) won the team best pitcher award. Senior Derek (Nails) Johnson, pitcher/catcher/DH, won the team hustle/toughness award.