The 35 and over Searles Bullheads won their first two State Tournament games last weekend to advance to the Class AA semifinals.
On Aug. 17, the Bullheads defeated the Perham Silver Pirates 4-2 in Jordan. Searles scored the first three runs in the third inning from an RBI single by John Giefer and a base hit by Scott Schaefer to score two more. The Pirates responded in the fourth and scored their only two runs of the game, which wasn’t enough to catch the Bullheads lead. Searles scored a final run in the fifth inning on a triple by Troy Kamm and a sacrifice fly by Giefer.
Scott Rummel threw two runs, four hits, four walks, and three strikeouts to lead the Bullheads on the mound.
On Aug. 18, Searles traveled to Shakopee to take on the LeCenter Braves. The Braves took an early 3-0 lead after an unearned run in the first and then a two-run home run in the fourth.
But the Bullheads rallied back in the fifth inning and scored five runs off of poor pitches by LeCenter, a huge double by Schaefer, and a single by Rummel. Searles was able to keep its 5-3 lead for the rest of the game with its solid defense. Kevin Hulke pitched four innings and gave up only two hits while throwing two strikeouts to lead Searles. Craig Schmitz relieved Hulke and retired all seven batters faced and threw two strikeouts as well.
The Bullheads have now won 12 straight games and will take on Menahga-Sebeka on Aug. 23 for the State Tournament semifinal. A win will put them into the Class AA championship game against either the St. Peter Saints or the Prior Lake Mariners.