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Mankato West leaning on depth ahead of state title clash

The Scarlets grinded out a couple of close wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals to advance to the title game.
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Mankato West certainly features all the components of a state championship team, a stable of arms, clutch hitting, and stout defense.

The Scarlets will need all the pitching depth with the way this state tournament schedule is laid out. If teams used their ace in game one or two, they’re out of play for the title. For West, two maybe three arms are unavailable on championship Friday after Tanner Shumski entered the game against Alexandria Area in relief for Zander Dittbenner, whose outing was cut short.

“We know for sure Louis and Tanner are both unavailable because they both hit their pitch counts. We’ll talk to Zander Dittbenner and see how he’s doing, but otherwise, it’s Riley Bersaw’s game. If Zander isn’t feeling it there, then we’re going to go Riley. He’s our fourth guy. We’ve had four seniors out there all year for a reason that we trust and believe in, so if Zander’s not there it’s Riley,” Head Coach Scott Pick said.

Regardless of if it’s Riley or Zander on the hill, the Scarlets are finding ways to win no matter the situation or circumstances. This postseason, the team’s come back multiple times to win, including a couple of walk-offs in dramatic fashion.

“We all have that mindset of ‘It’s not over until it’s over’ Baseball is a seven-inning game, so whether we do it in the seventh or we do it in the fourth, it’s not over til that last out. We’re resilient, we go out there and we’re going to keep fighting, no matter what the score is. It doesn’t really matter. We all have each other’s backs and we get it done,” said Shumski.

West won a couple of one-run ball games to open up the state tournament, next up for the Scarlets is Benilde St. Margaret’s for the Class AAA crown. First pitch at Target Field is set for 4 p.m. Friday.

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