Matt Timm threw the first perfect game in the history of the State Tournament, ending the Indians run to the Sweet 16.
It was the longest run that the Sleepy Eye Indians have had in a few years and another sign that they aren’t going anywhere. The Indians have recently had State Tournament appearances in 2011, 2013, and 2015, but with no success. However Saturday night the Tribe found themselves in the Sweet 16, the third-round of the 2018 State Amateur Baseball Tournament after upsetting the Elrosa Saints and Fergus Falls Hurricanes in the first two rounds. It was the first time a team from the Tomahawk East League had made it this far since 2015. It was the Indians’ first time since 2001. Unfortunately, the run would come to a screeching halt Saturday night against Matt Timm and the Hutchinson Huskies in a 6-0 loss at Joe Schleper Stadium in Shakopee.
Timm, who started on the mound for the Huskies, threw the first perfect game on record in the history of the State Tournament. Hutchinson used three separate one-run innings and a three-run sixth to pull away from the Indians. The Huskies got their first lead of the game in the top of the first inning when Jayden Juergensen scored from second base on a base hit from Jake Wendland. Hutch would pull away in the sixth inning that included a two-run triple from Matt Piechowski. Draftee Sean Mathiowetz started for the Indians, battling through four innings while giving up three runs on five hits and five walks. Fellow draftee Jevan Richert relieved Mathiowetz, followed by Andrew Woitas and Alex Sellner.
The Indians failed to get anything going against Timm. Hutchinson made the types of plays that you see when you know a game is destined to be special. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Carter Brinkman led off and smashed a ground ball in between the hole of the first and second basemen, only to be robbed on a full extension dive by second basemen Adam Katzenmeyer. Two batters later, with one out to go for the perfect game, pinch hitter Sean Salfer laced a line drive down the line just foul and Timm settled back in and got him to groundout to third. Throughout the night, Hutch made many tough plays look routine, as they were rock solid for Timm, who relied on his defense heavily with 11 groundouts and 11 outs through the air while accumulating five strikeouts while working efficiently with focus and poise.
The Indians' season concludes with a record of 17-15. The Indians look forward to next year with their mixture of veteran ballplayers and a young core returning, including getting Austin Fischer and Jake Mielke back from season-ending injuries. The Tribe was led by Alan Woitas with a .384 average and 12 stolen bases with a team-leading 23-RBI. Woitas’ .378 average with runners in scoring position proved helpful for the Indians. Following Woitas was left fielder Matt Berkner hitting .328 with eight stolen bases. Center fielder Joey Walter led the team with three home runs. On the mound, Sleepy Eye was led by workhorse Alex Sellner. Sellner compiled a 6-4 record with 79 1/3 innings pitched with four complete games.